FEC Home Page

For Immediate Release
April 12, 2005

Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton

Kelly Huff
George Smaragdis



WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has submitted to Congress a budget request of $54,600,000 for fiscal year 2006, an increase of only 5.5% over the enacted FY2005 appropriation of $51,741,728.

            In the Executive Summary of the Budget Request Justification, the FEC notes that the requested FY2006 budget “…represents a continuation of the FY2005 funding levels, adjusted for inflation and salary and benefits increases.  As such it represents essentially a current services request for FY2006 with no additional funds or staff for new programs or initiatives.”  The requested appropriation is identical to the Administration’s budget mark for the FEC.  Both seek funding approval for a total of 391 FEC employees in FY2006.

            In the summary the Commission identifies budget and staffing proposals for each of its three core programs:

  • Promoting disclosure of campaign finance information - $15,664,121 and 146.6 FTE (full time equivalent staff positions);
  • Obtaining compliance with the FECA - $29,081,292 and 181.1 FTE; and
  • Administering public financing of Presidential elections -- $9,854,586 and 63.3 FTE.

The summary also describes several important accomplishments of the FEC:

  • Education and outreach efforts that have received praise from political committee officials and members of Congress;
  •  Continued improvements in the speed and effectiveness of the campaign finance disclosure program; and
  • Improvements in enforcement resulting from several recent initiatives. 

These enforcement improvements are documented in the FEC's Enforcement Profile, which was also submitted to Congress today as part of the budget package.   This internal review of FEC enforcement efforts shows the effects of improved prioritization of enforcement cases, better case management tools and techniques and two Congressionally authorized initiatives designed to speed and expand enforcement in more routine matters (administrative fines for late filing of disclosure reports and alternative dispute resolution techniques for some other enforcement cases). Specific improvements found in the analysis include:

  • Substantial growth in total civil penalties collected in recent years, reaching more than $3 million in FY2004;
  • Large reductions in the time required to complete most enforcement actions;
  • A six fold increase in the number of actions for reporting violations including more than 1,000 administrative fines assessed for late filing; and
  • Increased use of non-financial solutions for some compliance problems, emphasizing training, policy changes by committees and independent audits aimed at reducing future violations.

The FEC’s budget summary concludes that “[t]o continue reaping the benefits of automation in our disclosure and compliance programs without adding additional staff, it is imperative that the Commission receive the requested resources in FY2006 to implement the automated review of financial disclosure reports, to continue to enhance the analysis and accessibility of campaign finance disclosure information, and to improve the timeliness and salience of enforcement and to continue the alternative compliance programs.”

            Budget materials submitted to Congress can be found at http://www.fec.gov/pages/budget/budget.shtml

            The FEC’s Enforcement Profile is available at http://www.fec.gov/pages/budget/fy2006/cbr2006/cbr_app_d.pdf

#   #   #