SBA Office of Advocacy Chief Counsel ApprovedDecember 16, 2015
On Dec. 10, the Senate voted to approve the nomination of Darryl DePriest as the Chief Counsel for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy. The approval comes just a day after the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship approved his appointment which had been made this summer by President Barack Obama. The confirmation makes him just the seventh Chief Counsel for the Office of Advocacy confirmed by the Senate.
Mr. DePriest was preceded by Mr. Winslow Sargeant who served as Chief Counsel from 2011 until his resignation in January this year. Mr. DePriest’s confirmation took an unusual path as no hearing was held by the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on his nomination. Instead, the nominee submitted written responses to questions which Chairman David Vitter (R-La.) sent to him in November. Mr. DePriest has a legal background, most recently serving as the Senior Consultant for Legal and Regulatory Communications for Hill + Knowlton Strategies, a position he held since 2008. Although Mr. DePriest has very little small-business experience, he is expected to quickly become instrumental to the small-business advocacy community by looking after their interests in the federal regulatory process.
The Office of Advocacy is primarily responsible for ensuring agencies follow the legal requirements under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act but also generate small-business research as well. The office is instrumental in shaping regulatory policy for the small-business community, often before those rules and regulations are even public in an official rulemaking procedure.
Prior to the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee approving the nominee, NSBA sent a letter urging the committee to fill the office before the end of the session.
NSBA strongly supports the Office of Advocacy and understands that it is critically important to that mission for the Office of Advocacy to have a leader to direct its advocacy efforts and present the small business perspective to federal agencies whose regulations directly impact small businesses across the country. NSBA is pleased that the Senate approved DePriest’s nomination, and looks forward to working with him in the coming year.