Who says it takes along time to get something done in government?

Two years ago, a presidential interagency task force on women business owners sent its report to the White House -- after an 11-month study. It had a laundry list of recommendations, among which was a relatively simple one. Banks and other lending institutions were asking about the marital status of women who came in looking for business loans, implying that the credit worthiness of their companies somehow depended on the financial status of their husbands.

The task force told the president the Federal Reserve Board should amend its rules to prohibit such questioning about marital status where the borrower was a woman in business.

The board quickly responded by putting out a proposed rule back in October 1978, saying that marital status inquiries would be prohibited in the case of all business credit applications.

Good enough -- but nothing has happened since. Now the board has announced, according to the Aug. 4 Federal Register (page 5134), that this rule is among the many expected to be taken up in the next six months.

Will it be approved? A federal Reserve Board official said recently there was "a lot of opposition" from banks.