Billson moves on small business ombudsman

Minister releases discussion paper for new office to help small and family enterprises

Billson moves on small business ombudsman
Billson hails vision of assistance


Federal Government has taken the first step in delivering a Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman with real power, Federal Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has announced.

The step comes in the form of a discussion paper that details the Government’s "vision of establishing a single entry‑point for small businesses, providing an easy way to find out about services and programs".

"Small businesses have told us that they often find it difficult to know where to go to get assistance," Billson says.

"We want to give time poor small businesses the best chance of success by reducing the time spent accessing information and advice, resolving disputes and having their voices heard.

As an advocate to Government, the Ombudsman will help to minimise compliance burdens and reduce red tape so that Government can get out of the way and let small businesses get on with their job.

As part of its key responsibilities the Ombudsman will be a:

  • "concierge" for dispute resolution
  • Commonwealth-wide advocate for small businesses and family enterprises
  • contributor to the development of small business friendly Commonwealth laws and regulations
  • single entry point agency through which Commonwealth assistance and information regarding small business can be accessed.

The discussion paper includes options for the scope of the Ombudsman’s functions and powers and seeks to identify possible areas of duplication, gaps or alignment with services and functions that are delivered through other governments, industry bodies or private providers.

"Small business can really help us with ideas on how the Ombudsman role can best meet their needs. The Government looks forward to receiving comments on the discussion paper," Billson says.

The discussion paper can be found here.

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