The Office of the National Ombudsman of the Small Business Administration (SBA) asked all federal agencies to adopt a policy that clearly states the agency will not retaliate against small businesses that question or complain about the way the agency does business.
The Commandant approved the Coast Guard non-retaliation policy on Feb. 11, 2004. The policy was published in the Federal Register on March 18, 2004 (69 FR 12864) and is restated here:
If you question or lodge a complaint regarding a Coast Guard policy or action to the Coast Guard or to anyone else, or if you seek outside help in dealing with a Coast Guard policy or action, the Coast Guard will not retaliate against you in any fashion. The Coast Guard wants you to be able to comment, question, or lodge a complaint about our policies or actions without fear that we will retaliate or try to discourage future questions or complaints. If you think the Coast Guard has broken this promise, we will investigate, take appropriate action, and make sure that mistakes are not repeated.
You may comment, ask questions, or file a complaint about Coast Guard policies or actions by contacting your local Coast Guard Office, or you can also contact the SBA Office of the National Ombudsman at 888-REG-FAIR (734-3247); fax: 202-481-5719; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Small businesses generally are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their field. If you need help determining whether or not your business qualifies as a “small business,” contact the SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman using the information given in the paragraph above.