Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 391 (ih) To amend chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, for the purpose of [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 391 (ih) To amend chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, for the purpose of [Introduced in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                               H. R. 391

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

To amend chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, for the purpose of 
   facilitating compliance by small businesses with certain Federal 
   paperwork requirements, to establish a task force to examine the 
feasibility of streamlining paperwork requirements applicable to small 
                  businesses, and for other purposes.
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 391

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To amend chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, for the purpose of 
   facilitating compliance by small businesses with certain Federal 
   paperwork requirements, to establish a task force to examine the 
feasibility of streamlining paperwork requirements applicable to small 
                  businesses, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Small Business Paperwork Reduction 
Act Amendments of 1999''.

SEC. 2. FACILITATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL PAPERWORK REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) Requirements Applicable to the Director of OMB.--Section 
3504(c) of chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly 
referred to as the ``Paperwork Reduction Act''), is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (4), by striking ``; and'' and inserting a 
        semicolon;
            (2) in paragraph (5), by striking the period and inserting 
        a semicolon; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
            ``(6) publish in the Federal Register on an annual basis a 
        list of the requirements applicable to small-business concerns 
        (within the meaning of section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 
        U.S.C. 631 et seq.)) with respect to collection of information 
        by agencies, organized by North American Industrial 
        Classification System code and industrial/sector description 
        (as published by the Office of Management and Budget), with the 
        first such publication occurring not later than one year after 
        the date of the enactment of the Small Business Paperwork 
        Reduction Act Amendments of 1999; and
            ``(7) make available on the Internet, not later than one 
        year after the date of the enactment of such Act, the list of 
        requirements described in paragraph (6).''.
    (b) Establishment of Agency Point of Contact; Suspension of Fines 
for First-Time Paperwork Violations.--Section 3506 of such chapter is 
amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(i)(1) In addition to the requirements described in subsection 
(c), each agency shall, with respect to the collection of information 
and the control of paperwork--
            ``(A) establish one point of contact in the agency to act 
        as a liaison between the agency and small-business concerns 
        (within the meaning of section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 
        U.S.C. 631 et seq.)); and
            ``(B) in any case of a first-time violation by a small-
        business concern of a requirement regarding collection of 
        information by the agency, provide that no civil fine shall be 
        imposed on the small-business concern unless, based on the 
        particular facts and circumstances regarding the violation--
                    ``(i) the head of the agency determines that the 
                violation has the potential to cause serious harm to 
                the public interest;
                    ``(ii) the head of the agency determines that 
                failure to impose a civil fine would impede or 
                interfere with the detection of criminal activity;
                    ``(iii) the violation is a violation of an internal 
                revenue law or a law concerning the assessment or 
                collection of any tax, debt, revenue, or receipt;
                    ``(iv) the violation is not corrected on or before 
                the date that is six months after the date of receipt 
                by the small-business concern of notification of the 
                violation in writing from the agency; or
                    ``(v) except as provided in paragraph (2), the head 
                of the agency determines that the violation presents a 
                danger to the public health or safety.
    ``(2)(A) In any case in which the head of an agency determines that 
a first-time violation by a small-business concern of a requirement 
regarding the collection of information presents a danger to the public 
health or safety, the head of the agency may, notwithstanding paragraph 
(1)(B)(v), determine that a civil fine should not be imposed on the 
small-business concern if the violation is corrected within 24 hours of 
receipt of notice in writing by the small-business concern of the 
violation.
    ``(B) In determining whether to provide a small-business concern 
with 24 hours to correct a violation under subparagraph (A), the head 
of the agency shall take into account all of the facts and 
circumstances regarding the violation, including--
            ``(i) the nature and seriousness of the violation, 
        including whether the violation is technical or inadvertent or 
        involves willful or criminal conduct;
            ``(ii) whether the small-business concern has made a good 
        faith effort to comply with applicable laws, and to remedy the 
        violation within the shortest practicable period of time;
            ``(iii) the previous compliance history of the small-
        business concern, including whether the small-business concern, 
        its owner or owners, or its principal officers have been 
        subject to past enforcement actions; and
            ``(iv) whether the small-business concern has obtained a 
        significant economic benefit from the violation.
    ``(3) In any case in which the head of the agency imposes a civil 
fine on a small-business concern for a first-time violation of a 
requirement regarding collection of information which the agency head 
has determined presents a danger to the public health or safety, and 
does not provide the small-business concern with 24 hours to correct 
the violation, the head of the agency shall notify Congress regarding 
such determination not later than 60 days after the date that the civil 
fine is imposed by the agency.
    ``(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no State may 
impose a civil penalty on a small-business concern, in the case of a 
first-time violation by the small-business concern of a requirement 
regarding collection of information under Federal law, in a manner 
inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection.''.
    (c) Additional Reduction of Paperwork for Certain Small 
Businesses.--Section 3506(c) of title 44, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) in paragraph (2)(B), by striking ``; and'' and 
        inserting a semicolon;
            (2) in paragraph (3)(J), by striking the period and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(4) in addition to the requirements of this Act regarding 
        the reduction of paperwork for small-business concerns (within 
        the meaning of section 3 of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 
        631 et seq.)), make efforts to further reduce the paperwork 
        burden for small-business concerns with fewer than 25 
        employees.''.

SEC. 3. ESTABLISHMENT OF TASK FORCE TO STUDY STREAMLINING OF PAPERWORK 
              REQUIREMENTS FOR SMALL-BUSINESS CONCERNS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code, is 
further amended by adding at the end the following new section:
``Sec. 3521. Establishment of task force on feasibility of streamlining 
              information collection requirements
    ``(a) There is hereby established a task force to study the 
feasibility of streamlining requirements with respect to small-business 
concerns regarding collection of information (in this section referred 
to as the `task force').
    ``(b) The members of the task force shall be appointed by the 
Director, and shall include the following:
            ``(1) At least two representatives of the Department of 
        Labor, including one representative of the Bureau of Labor 
        Statistics and one representative of the Occupational Safety 
        and Health Administration.
            ``(2) At least one representative of the Environmental 
        Protection Agency.
            ``(3) At least one representative of the Department of 
        Transportation.
            ``(4) At least one representative of the Office of Advocacy 
        of the Small Business Administration.
            ``(5) At least one representative of each of two agencies 
        other than the Department of Labor, the Environmental 
        Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, and the 
        Small Business Administration.
            ``(6) At least two representatives of the Department of 
        Health and Human Services, including one representative of the 
        Health Care Financing Administration.
    ``(c) The task force shall examine the feasibility of requiring 
each agency to consolidate requirements regarding collections of 
information with respect to small-business concerns, in order that each 
small-business concern may submit all information required by the 
agency--
            ``(1) to one point of contact in the agency;
            ``(2) in a single format, or using a single electronic 
        reporting system, with respect to the agency; and
            ``(3) on the same date.
    ``(d) Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of 
the Small Business Paperwork Reduction Act Amendments of 1999, the task 
force shall submit a report of its findings under subsection (c) to the 
chairmen and ranking minority members of the Committee on Government 
Reform and Oversight and the Committee on Small Business of the House 
of Representatives, and the Committee on Governmental Affairs and the 
Committee on Small Business of the Senate.
    ``(e) As used in this section, the term `small-business concern' 
has the meaning given that term under section 3 of the Small Business 
Act (15 U.S.C. 631 et seq.).''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning 
of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

``3521. Establishment of task force on feasibility of streamlining 
                            information collection requirements.''.

            Passed the House of Representatives February 11, 1999.

            Attest:

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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