SMP Advises President Clinton's
National Economic Council,
Bankruptcy Working Group

John M. Collard discusses turnaround management
and small business issues in bankruptcy

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Collard Goes to the White House -- The Turnaround Management Association, THE professional association for corporate renewal and change management; sent members of their Legislative Action Committee to Washington, D.C. in June, 1994 to make courtesy calls on Capitol Hill, the Treasury and Commerce departments, and the White House.

TMA's leadership spent two hours at the White House with representatives of the National Economic Council discussing corporate renewal programs and objectives in connection with the Clinton Administration's continuing review of federal insolvency laws and national economic programs. "We took our message to Washington that TMA is the only international professional association dedicated to the development of stronger market economies through the restoration and preservation of corporate value, private enterprise and the saving of jobs," said then TMA 1996 Chairman John Collard.

The TMA stressed its role in speaking out about the laws and government programs that affect businesses. TMA reviews pending legislation and current government programs based on their impact on American businesses. In order to preserve business value and jobs, legislative initiatives must reduce administrative costs, eliminate obstacles that delay viable corporate restructurings, and streamline existing statutory schemes.

TMA Invited Back to Advise the White House -- Members of TMA's leadership were asked again to meet with top-ranking government officials in an effort to shape future bankruptcy legislation. The TMA delegation represented members of the practitioner and legal communities, as well as those who work with both large and small firms.

In August, the National Economic Councils' Bankruptcy Working Group asked members John Collard (1995 Chairman), Tom Allison (1994 Past Chairman), Jack Butler (Chair, Legislative Action Committee), and Deborah Devan (Chair-Elect, Legislative Action Committee), to meet with them again about issues surrounding bankruptcies. The bankruptcy working group is an inter-agency group involving people from justice, treasury, commerce and labor, as well as the White House policy offices - domestic policy council, national economic council, council of economic advisors, office of management and budget which is considering economic social and legal issues arising out of the bankruptcy code.

Some of the more compelling messages that the TMA left with the White House advisors is that the bankruptcy legislation, as it was currently written, does not yield equal benefit for both large and small businesses. "In fact, small businesses are being slighted in the process," says John Collard.

Collard said the delegation advised the White House counselors that if you are a small to medium-sized business, you might not have the time or money to work through the bankruptcy process. Provisions similar to those found under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code were suggested to help the process be effective for small to medium-sized businesses.

During their meetings, the working group pressed TMA officials for information and opinions on the major issues involved with bankruptcies today; possible incentives for more timely resolutions of chapter 11 proceedings; possible ways to accelerate chapter 11 cases; the perceived effectiveness of creditor committees; and recommendations for bankruptcy reform.

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This write-up excerpted from the Newsletter of Corporate Renewal with permission.
Date of this write-up August, 1994

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