In 2006, the California legislature reestablished the requirement that certain state agencies designate a small business liaison. Cal. Gov’t Code § 11148.5 added by Cal. Stats. 2006, Ch. 234. A state agency is subject to this requirement if it either significantly regulates small business or significantly impacts small business. The responsibilities of the small business liaison are as follows:
- Receiving and responding to complaints received by the agency from small businesses.
- Providing technical advice and assisting small businesses in resolving problems and questions regarding compliance with the agency’s regulations and relevant statutes.
- Reporting small business concerns and, if appropriate, reporting recommendations to the agency secretary or to the agency head, as defined in Government Code Section 11405.40.
- Reviewing and updating, on a semiannual basis, content on the agency Web site that is accessible through the small business link provided on the State of California Internet portal pursuant to Government Code Section 11541.5.
- Assisting the agency secretary, department director, or executive officer, as applicable, in ensuring that the procurement and contracting processes of the applicable entity are administered in order to meet or exceed the 25% small business participation goal, and developing and sharing innovative procurement and contracting practices from the public and private sectors to increase opportunities for small businesses.
The small business liaison, however, is prohibited from advocating for or against the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any regulation or intervening in any pending investigation or enforcement action.
The statute requires that state agencies “prominently displaying the name and contact information of the small business liaison on the agency’s Web site. The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation’s website does include generic contact information for its “Small Business Advocate/Liaison and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) Advocate”. However, the name of the small business liaison is not included as required by statute. In addition, the link for more information about the advocate/liaison role is broken.