The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)817 requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment rulemakings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”818 Accordingly, we have prepared a Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis concerning the possible impact of the rule changes contained in the Report and Order on small entities. The Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is set forth in Appendix D.
D.Final Paperwork Reduction Analysis
This document contains new information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. It will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507(d) of the PRA. OMB, the general public, and other federal agencies are invited to comment on the new information collection requirements contained in this proceeding. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.
In this proceeding, we adopt new recordkeeping rules that provide clear guidance to covered entities on the records they must keep to demonstrate compliance with our new rules. We require covered entities to keep the three categories of records set forth in Section 717(a)(5)(A).819 We also require annual certification by a corporate officer that the company is keeping the required records. We have assessed the effects of these rules and find that any burden on small businesses will be minimal because we have adopted the minimum recordkeeping requirements that allow covered entities to keep records in any format they wish. This approach takes into account the variances in covered entities (e.g., size, experience with the Commission), recordkeeping methods, and products and services covered by the CVAA. Furthermore, this approach provides the greatest flexibility to small businesses and minimizes the impact that the statutorily mandated requirements impose on small businesses. Correspondingly, we considered and rejected the alternative of imposing a specific format or one-size-fits-all system for recordkeeping that could potentially impose greater burdens on small businesses.Moreover, the certification requirement is possibly less burdensome on small businesses than large, as it merely requires certification from an officer that the necessary records were kept over the previous year; this is presumably a less resource intensive certification for smaller entities. Finally, we adopt a requirement that consumers must file a “Request for Dispute Assistance” with the Consumer and Governmental Affairs’ Disability Rights Office as a prerequisite to filing an informal complaint with the Enforcement Bureau. This information request in beneficial because it will trigger Commission involvement before a complaint is filed and will benefit both consumers and industry by helping to clarify the accessibility needs of consumers. It will also encourage settlement discussions between the parties in an effort to resolve accessibility issues without the expenditure of time and resources in the informal complaint process. We also note that we have temporarily exempted small entities from the rules we have adopted herein while we consider, in the Further Notice, whether we should grant a permanent exemption, and what criteria should be associated with such an exemption.
E.Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),820the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities of the policies and rules proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The analysis is found in Appendix E. We request written public comment on the analysis. Comments must be filed in accordance with the same deadlines as comments filed in response to the Further Notice and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as responses to the IRFA. The Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a copy of this CVAA Further Notice, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.
F.Initial Paperwork Reduction Analysis
The Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making contains proposed new or modified information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Public and agency comments are due 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Comments should address: (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission’s burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.” We note that we have described impacts that might affect small businesses, which includes most businesses with fewer than 25 employees, in the IRFA in Appendix E, infra.