Federal Election Commission

Office of Inspector General -- Semiannual Report

Period ending September 30, 2000

If you require the entire printed version of this report, contact the Office of Inspector General, Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20463 or call Dorothy Maddox-Holland, Special Assistant, phone: (202) 694-1015, fax: (202) 501-8134, or e-mail: oig@fec.gov.

Executive Summary

This report is submitted pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.   This Executive Summary provides a brief synopsis of accomplishments and general activities pertaining to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the period April 1, 2000 through September 30, 2000. 

During this semiannual reporting period, the OIG released one audit report entitled, Agency Controls Governing the Process for Procurement of Vendor Training Services (OIG-00-01 - September, 2000). The primary objective of this audit was to assess economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of management controls governing the process for procurement of training services obtained through outside vendors.

A hearing was held on May 18, 2000 by the Senate Subcommittee on Management, Restructuring, and the District of Columbia.  The hearing was held to examine the Federal government’s commitment to develop and train its workforce.  Our audit covered several issues addressed during the hearing, which related to staff development at the Commission using outside vendors.

During the audit, the OIG interviewed agency staff, analyzed training records and reviewed training related financial information to determine whether or not the Federal Election Commission (FEC) has put in place management controls required by OMB directives and Federal regulations.  This included adopting specific practices for managing the training of agency staff and maintaining a complete record of staff training activities.

Based on our audit work, we concluded that agency controls governing the process for procurement of vendor training services are not effective or efficient.  Although we did not examine training developed "in-house," which is training created and administered by agency staff for agency staff, during our audit we found that the FEC would not be capable of producing a complete record of all staff training and activities which would comply with existing Federal laws and regulations.  However we noted no specific instances of fraud or abuse.

Our report contained seven audit recommendations.   Detailed information regarding this audit report can be found on page 8, the Audit section of this report.

The Office of Inspector General initiated an audit during the previous reporting period entitled, Procurement Operations (OIG-00-03). The primary objectives of this audit are to 1) determine whether or not the FEC has an efficient and effective procurement system in place; and 2) to determine whether the FEC’s procurement process complies with statutory and regulatory requirements.   The audit is being conducted to determine if the Commission has implemented the key acquisition reforms contained in the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994.

We are in the process of completing the audit and anticipate releasing the report during the next reporting period.  Significant information pertaining to this audit is located on page 8, the Audit section of this report.

The following items highlight additional activities of the Office of Inspector General during this reporting period.  Items are described in greater detail on page 15, the section entitled Additional Office of Inspector General Activity.

The OIG, along with assistance from the Director of the Data Systems Development Division, addressed each of the inquiries and forwarded the response to each of the Congressmen.  For more information, see page 15.

The Inspector General’s main concern was the attempt to question the independence of a specific group of IGs, which she feels is a threat to all IGs.  Although DFE inspectors general have statutory rights and protections to assure their independence, the IG felt that creating two different standards of independence for inspectors general is inconsistent with statutory intent.  For additional information on this subject, see page 16.