In an effort to find opportunity for entrepreneurial and investment efforts, I have begun to monitor more actions from governmental agencies relevant to opportunity. This segment aims to highlight interesting developments in the business environment including competitors, regulations, or interesting occurrences.
Regulations can be a source of opportunity as they make a major part in the determination of barriers to entry. An industry or practice is difficult to enter if there is a significant amount of regulative procedures and requirements, versus when restrictions are removed an opportunity may be present. In this way we are doing our small part to encourage an informed people.
Start of July 20th, 2018 update
- It seems Uncle Sam wants 2 day shipping! The General Service Administration is moving forward with a program to procure commercial items through eCommerce portals. The administration’s mission is to deliver value, savings and support services in acquisition, real estate, and technology for many of the government agencies and branches. The GSA continuously aims to reduce difficulties in compliance, costs, distribution and leadership; when acquiring commercial items and providing other support services. The GSA has determined that eCommerce platforms is a technology that could help them provide more value to agencies when acquiring commercial items for the government and has been tasked to create a program of procuring commercial items through eCommerce platforms. The program is concerning itself with phase I, where it analyzes eCommerce platforms that are prevalent and if any clarifications or changes need to be made for flexibility so that the platforms can be fit for the procurement program; and II which determines what items would be appropriate for acquisition through such eCommerce platforms that would not be of risk to any of the agencies. The Phases of this plan include Implementation of Plan as Phase I, Market Analysis and Consultation as Phase II, and Program Implementation Guidance at Phase III. This is in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. GSA has announced it is in Phase 2, working towards a proof of concept by end of next year.
- Clickbaiters have their day today, as there is some news relevant to 401(k)’s. The Internal Revenue Service has made Final amendments to definitions of Qualified Matching Contributions and Qualified Non-elective Contributions. These definitions impact qualified retirement plans containing cash or deferred arrangments under section 401(k). The amendment intends to make employers matched contributions qualifiable if they can not be forfeited and there are certain limitations on distributions, this will influence allocations to not account, but not the contributions to plan. This regulation is EFFECTIVE AS OF JULY 20TH 2018. Impacts participants in, beneficiaries of, tax-qualified plan administrators, and employers maintaining of Qualified plans; consult your tax professional, accountant, or legal advisor for more details regarding this regulation. Seperate article to follow, into how this changes qualified contributions.
End of Update.
Start of July 19th, 2018 update
- Sport Hunters have their ears raised to the wind, as the public comment submission period for a proposed rule is extended by the National Park Service. The public has till this September 5th, to comment on an ammendment proposed in May of the this year. The amendment would repeal certain prohibited sport hunting practices otherwise permitted by Alaska’s government.
- The Occupational Safety And Health Administration and the Association of American Railroads moves forward in agreement to craft several exemptions for one type of railroad equipment for working along railroads. This agreement was born out of the original final rule around Crane Standards, made in August 9th, 2010. In October of the same year the AAR, had filed a petition to the rule made regarding use of Cranes and Derricks, as it felt standards should differ from railway work when using cranes, otherwise railway work would have to comply with the standards set. The agreement is to exempt a railroad equipment type from the compliance of the crane standard requirements as long as it addresses several provisions from the crane standard, including: safety equipment, equipment modifications, sideways load dragging, manufacturer requirements, out-of-level work area procedures, and work-area controls.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) introduces it’s 504 Loan Program Rural Initiative Pilot Program (504 Rural Pilot).
- This program removes prior restrictions on “Certified Development Companies” which prevented CDC’s from takin loans outside their area of operations. The easing of these restrictions now allows CDC’s to apply for loans with projects in any rural county as long as they are in the same region where the CDC is incorporated and cleared with the SBA branch of that region.
- A Certified Development Company (CDC) has traditionally been a private, nonprofit organization that takes some obligation towards the economic development of its community and up to borders within the region of its corresponding branch of the Small Business Administration.
End of July 19th, 2018 update
Start of July 18th, 2018 update.
- A proposed rule from the Federal Housing Finance Agency seeks to create a new framework to decide capital requirements that will focus on measurement of risks to be a major decisive factor in determining capital requirement. The Housing And Economic Recovery Act (HERA) 2008, gave the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) better control in deciding capital requirements for Enterprises that had been placed under “conservatorship” after the financial crisis of 2008. Includes a revised minimum capital leverage requirement along with the framework for judgement of capital requirements by risk focus.
- An Amendment to the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act by the Federal Trade Commssion will bring some un-substantive changes as we go into August of 2018. The HSR Premerger Notification Rules requires certain parties to submit a form and wait a specified period before consummating mergers between two entities. The amendment’s objective is to clarify certain requirements and allow email correspondence for some part of the administrative duties provided specific circumstances ar met. Read more Here.
- Tax Preparers are going to be more careful when filing status of head of house hold. In past years, The Tax Return Preparer Due Diligence Penalty (section 6695g) has been expanded to penalize lack of due diligence by tax preparers when determining eligibility and amount of the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Additional Child Tax Credit and American Opportunity Tax Credit. Proposed Regulations will now expand this section to cover determination of eligibility to file as Head of Household. Read more, Here.
- The United States Patent and Trademark Office hopes that an absence of demand for trademark interference proceedings, support removing regulations around such trademark interference proceedings. The move is made to support the offices’ on-going accordance with executive order 13777; eliminating outdated, ineffective, and unnecessary regulations brings this highly rare proceeding’s regulations to the chopping board. Read more Here.
- The FAA is busy this month updating Airworthiness Directives for specific aircraft A330-200, 300 freighter, and 300 series. Theses directives are in response to raised concerns of Flight Management System (FMS) resets resulting in loss of flight plan data. Proposed revised Airplane Flight Manual and modifications the FMS software in planes equipped with Flight Management Guidence Envelope Computer.
- One of the Airworthiness Directives from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will focus on the Boeing Company Models 767-300 and -300F, requiring consistent and reocurring (HFEC) High Frequency Eddy Current inspections and necessary repairs. Also certain Airbus models A318, A319, and A320 which requires more maintenance and or inspection programs.
End of July 18th, 2018 Update.
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