WSR 10-23-044

PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY

OFFICE OF MINORITY AND

WOMEN'S BUSINESS ENTERPRISES

[ Filed November 10, 2010, 9:52 a.m. ]

Subject of Possible Rule Making: This rule making is for two purposes: (1) To make changes in the process by which a firm that is decertified, denied certification, or assessed a penalty is afforded the opportunity to appeal the office's decision. The changes proposed would provide faster review, more transparency to the process, and reduced costs to both the firms and the agency; and (2) to clarify the office's policy with respect to size standards in the consideration of eligibility for certification as a minority business enterprise, women's business enterprise, or socially and economically disadvantaged business enterprise.

Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 39.19.030.

Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: (1) Under the current rule, the process unnecessarily requires the involvement of another agency. This effectively extends the time required before a decision on appeal can be made. The proposed changes would eliminate this extra step.

(2) The office has historically employed the standards set by the federal government. This rule making will afford the opportunity for interested parties to comment on this practice in light of recent changes in federal policy that may have a negative effect on otherwise eligible firms.

Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: (1) There are no other agencies that regulate this subject because it is an internal process of this agency.

(2) The United States Department of Transportation and the United States Small Business Administration are the two federal agencies that have adopted rules on this subject matter.

The proposed changes are within the authority given the agency in its enabling statute and are designed and intended to better harmonize the policies of the state and federal governments.

Process for Developing New Rule: Neither proposal negatively impacts other state agencies and educational institutions or political subdivisions of the state. Both proposals are procedural in nature and neither proposal is subject to violation by a nongovernment party.

Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by sending written comments and questions to Juan Huey-Ray, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 41160, Olympia, WA 98504-1160, phone 1-866-208-1064 (toll free), e-mail jhuey-ray@omwbe.wa.gov, fax (360) 586-7079.

November 10, 2010

Cathy Canorro

Acting Director

Washington State Code Reviser's Office