FY 2003 FEC Budget Request

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This document is part of the Congressional Justification Budget Request for FY 2003 presented to the Congress Pursuant to GPRA and OMB A-11 by the Federal Election Commission on February 25, 2002.


FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
BUDGET REQUEST JUSTIFICATION
FOR FY 2003
PRESENTED TO THE CONGRESS
PURSUANT TO GPRA AND OMB A-11
February 25, 2002

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) submits a budget request of $45,244,000 and 362 FTE for FY 2003, an increase of $1,555,000 (3.6%) over our enacted FY 2002 appropriation of $43,689,000 and 362 FTE (The President’s budget request is for $46,917,000 and contains an adjustment of $1,673,000 to account for a new method of providing for federal retirees under the Civil Service Retirement Program, CSRS; please see below and Appendix A). This request represents a continuation of the FY 2002 funding level, as adjusted for inflation and salary and benefits increases. As such it represents a Current Services request for FY 2003 with no additional funds or staff for new programs or initiatives. The FEC reached agreement with OMB on this request, after negotiations with the OMB staff over the original FY 2003 passback.

The Commission originally requested $49,465,000 and 368 FTE for FY 2003, which represented the FY 2002 Current Services supplemented by programmatic increases, primarily for election administration reform. This represented an increase of $5,776,000 (13.2%) and an increase of 6 FTE (1.7%) over our enacted FY 2002 appropriation of $43,689,000 and 362 FTE. However, in the spirit of cooperation in the new era of post-September 11th and with government deficits returning, the Commission accepted the compromise FY 2003 funding level reached with the OMB.

In addition, the Administration has proposed a change in the manner in which federal employee retirement benefits are funded for those employees still under the old Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), and a change in how future costs for all retired federal employee health insurance benefits are funded. The Administration describes this as the federal "Freedom to Manage" initiative, and all budget totals in the President’s request include these costs at the agency level. For comparison purposes, the costs that would have been incurred in FY 2001 and 2002 if the proposal had been in effect are also included in the President’s budget request.

The effect of the proposed change in funding federal retirement and retired federal employee health benefits would be to increase the FEC FY 2003 request to $46,917,000. This figure matches the OMB FY 2003 budget for the FEC, as contained in the President’s budget request. It represents an increase of $1,673,000 over our FY 2003 request of $45,244,000. The proposal also would have increased the FY 2002 appropriation to $45,266,000 (an increase of $1,577,000, and would have increased FY 2001 expenditures by $1,491,500.) The details of the proposal and its impact are contained in Appendix A to this justification.

Building on Past Successes

In FY 2001, the FEC achieved three major successes: expansion of the compliance program, implementation of mandatory electronic filing, and issuance of the draft revision of the Voting Systems Standards (VSS.) These successes are the result of FEC efforts and support from our Congressional oversight committees. Swift Congressional action on mandatory electronic filing for large filers and the establishment of an administrative fine program, as recommended in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology and Performance Audit and Management Review of the Federal Election Commission, resulted in programs allowing the FEC to carry out its disclosure and compliance missions more effectively. In addition, two programs have received accolades from the regulated community— Administrative Fines and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

FEC Compliance Program

The Administrative Fine Program, initiated in July 2000, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program, initiated in October 2000, were established to allow the Office of General Counsel enforcement resources to focus on more substantive and significant cases, permit the FEC to resolve cases that would otherwise not have been activated, and increase the number of compliance actions handled in the FEC enforcement program.

For example, from FY 1995 through FY 2000, the FEC closed an average of 205 cases each fiscal year. In FY 2001, with the addition of the administrative fine and ADR programs, the FEC closed 517 cases, a 152% increase over the FY 1995-2000 annual average of 205 cases.

In addition to increasing the number of cases closed, the administrative fine program expedites and streamlines the enforcement process for late and nonfiler cases. The administrative fine program also has encouraged more timely filing. For example, 11% of the 2000 Year-End Reports were filed late, while 24% and 22% of the 1998 and 1996 Year-End Reports, respectively, were filed late. Because timely filing is key to prompt disclosure of campaign finance information, the administrative fine program apparently has improved compliance and streamlined the enforcement process.

The ADR program affords both the FEC and the respondent parties the opportunity to resolve cases more rapidly. This is another opportunity for the Commission to resolve cases substantively as well as to process them more rapidly. For example, the ADR office concluded agreements with respondents and formally closed 35 cases (as of January 31, 2002) in an average of 117 days from the time matters were referred to the ADR office. The Commission accepted the settlements reached in 33 of the 35 cases closed. Civil penalties from the final agreements exceeded $30,000.

In total, ADR has worked on 67 cases: 17 were returned to OGC, negotiations were initiated in 39 cases, and in four cases the respondents declined to enter into negotiations in the ADR program. As of January 31, 2002, four cases in which negotiations are still open and another seven cases remain in process in various stages of the ADR process.

The FEC enforcement goals established in the Strategic Plan and annual Performance Plan seek to activate more enforcement cases and reduce the number of cases dismissed without substantive action. These goals build on the FY 2000 record when the FEC closed over 70% of the cases processed with some form of substantive action and over 50% of the average monthly caseload was actively being processed.

At the same time, the FEC has improved the OGC enforcement tracking process through the Case Management System. In addition, future productivity benefits are expected from document imaging and management systems.

The following two tables depict the increase in enforcement actions closed in FY 2001 compared to previous fiscal years, and detail the nature of the completed FY 2001 caseload by type of action.

Bar Chart of Enforcement Case Dispositions Fiscal Years 1995 Through 2001

Pie Chart of Enforcement Dispositions Fiscal Year 2001

Electronic Filing Program

The mandatory electronic filing program began in January 2001. In July 2001, 2,460 committees electronically filed either their Mid-Year Reports or their July monthly Reports, with 1,135 committees filing electronically for the first time. Election-cycle-to-date financial activity for those committees filing electronically represented 82% of the total disbursements for all committees filing reports, excluding Senate filers.

Electronic filing has increased significantly the timeliness, scope, and amount of data available to FEC staff and external users of campaign finance disclosure information. A measure of the effectiveness of electronic filing is the comparison of the FEC target to process (make public) at least 95% of the itemized data within 60 days of receipt (based on historical and current experience in processing documents). Now that electronic filing is mandatory for most candidates and committees (excluding the Senate filings), for the 2002 cycle to date, the FEC has processed 95% of the itemized data within 18 days of receipt, 42 days faster than the target. As we gain more experience with the mandatory electronic filing system, the targets for processing itemized data will be adjusted.

Voting Systems Standards

The FEC issued the draft technical Voting Systems Standards (VSS) designed as voluntary standards for election administration officials charged with selecting and using voting systems in federal elections. The final technical standards will be released formally at a conference hosted by the FEC’s Office of Election Administration (OEA) in April 2002. They also will be disseminated in educational outreach workshops and through other OEA efforts. The original FEC FY 2003 budget request would have built upon the newly revised VSS by developing operational guidelines for election administrators to improve the operational management of federal elections.

The Commission believed that funding of OEA initiatives to disseminate the new VSS and to begin work on operational guidelines for election administration was critical to ensure the integrity of federal elections. The OEA is the only federal office directly involved in providing assistance to state and local elections officials charged with administering federal elections. However, the political branches of government apparently have determined not to place additional resources with the FEC OEA for election reform issues.

Funding Required to Continue FEC Programs

The success of these three initiatives has resulted, and will continue to result in, improved disclosure through electronic filing, improved compliance through varied enforcement programs, and improved federal election administration through updating and enhancing the VSS.

When considered within the context of the continuing record levels of total federal campaign finance activity each election cycle, resulting in more than a 1000% increase since 1976, these initiatives have enabled the Commission to handle an expanding workload without proportionate requests for additional staff. The FEC has relied on information technology (IT) to automate and streamline disclosure and compliance programs to respond to the expansion in campaign finance activity with stable levels of staff resources.

In order to 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 FY 2003 to continue to implement the automated review of financial disclosure reports, to initiate the portal development project to enhance the analysis and accessibility of information, and to continue the alternative compliance programs. The FEC FY 2003 budget request complies with the Administration goal to use IT improvements to enhance program productivity, as well as Human Resources (HR) and financial management support.

Impact of OMB Level for FY 2003

The FEC request contained in the President’s FY 2003 Budget eliminates additional funding for the FEC Office of Election Administration (OEA) to develop operational guidelines for election administration. This was a reiteration of the FEC election administration reform package requested for FY 2001 and 2002 and addressed management and technical issues election officials face. In addition, it built upon the technical Voting Systems Standards (VSS) the FEC is completing in a $500,000, multi-year project.

The FEC request for a comprehensive approach to address short-term and long-term issues in federal election administration would have permitted the development of operational guidelines to assist state and local officials in improving their management of federal elections. The FEC believes that one of the best solutions to improve the nation’s voting systems would be to build upon the work already accomplished by the FEC’s OEA on the technical VSS.

The other funding initiatives ($650,000) originally requested by the FEC for FY 2003 conformed to the Administration’s efforts to improve government productivity and service through technical and IT based innovations: upgrading our Reports Analysis Division (RAD) staff to better utilize automated filings of disclosure reports to automate the reports review process, developing a data mining capability to analyze data provided on financial disclosure reports, and automating the HR/MIS/FTE programs at the Commission. These programs to develop data mining and HR improvements already delayed once in FY 2002 will be further delayed until after FY 2003.

The FEC must be prepared to implement any campaign finance reform enacted. Depending on the scope of campaign finance legislation, the FEC could face significant additional resource needs. The FEC Current Services Request for FY 2003 does not include any resources for implementing any new campaign finance legislation.

FEC FY 2003 Current Services Request

The FEC FY 2003 budget request supports core programs, responds to the numerous calls for reform of election administration by providing for a limited program of federal assistance to state and local elections officials charged with administering federal elections, and supports OMB mandates to improve productivity through IT initiatives. Pursuant to our authority as a concurrent submission agency, the Commission is submitting this budget justification to OMB and Congress.

The FEC requires an FY 2003 Current Services budget of $45,244,000 to support 362 FTE. As a personnel intensive regulatory agency, 70% of the Current Services budget is allocated to salaries and benefits. The remaining funds are allocated to: information technology (IT) initiatives and operations (11.5%), rent (8%), programmatic support of educational outreach, informational, audit, compliance, enforcement and election administration programs (6.5%), and telephones, equipment, supplies, postage and printing (4%).

The funding level contained in this budget request will enable the Commission to:

Difference Between FY 2002 Appropriation and FY 2003 Current Services Request

The FEC request for FY 2003 is depicted below in two formats to indicate the increases from FY 2002. The first reflects the OMB adjustments to both FY 2002 and 2003 for the President’s "Freedom to Manage" initiative that impacts funding of federal retirement costs and federal health insurance benefits for retired federal employees. The second reflects the FEC FY 2002 appropriation and the FEC FY 2003 Current Services request, with the final adjustment for CSRS retirement and FEHB costs to reach the President’s request for FY 2003 for the FEC.

DIFFERENCE FY 2002 TO FY 2003

President’s FY 2003 Current Services Budget Request for FEC
FY 2002 Appropriation $43,689,000
+ Adjustment for CSRS/FEHB costs FY 2002 $ 1,577,000

= Adjusted FY 2002 Appropriation $45,266,000
+ Increase in pay, benefits $ 1,288,000
+ Increase in overtime/transit subsidy/other $ 53,000
+ Increase in rent $ 117,000
+ Increase in overhead—inflation  $ 199,000
- Decrease in base IT Initiatives costs $ (102,000)

Subtotal for changes to FY 2002 for FY 2003 Current Services level: $ 1,555,000
= Adjusted Current Services Budget for FY 2003 $46,821,000
+ Incremental adjustment for CSRS/FEHB costs FY 2003 $ 96,000

= FY 2003 Request (President’s Budget FY 2003) $46,917,000

 

FEC’s FY 2003 Current Services Request
FY 2002 Appropriation $43,689,000
+ Increases in pay and benefits $ 1,341,000
+ Increases in non-pay $ 214,000

Subtotal for increases from FY 2002 for FY 2003 Current Services $ 1,555,000
= FY 2003 FEC Current Services Request $45,244,000
+ OMB Adjustment for CSRS/FEHB costs FY 2003 $ 1,673,000

= FY 2003 Request (President’s Budget FY 2003) $46,917,000

Mission

The FY 2003 budget request will enable the FEC to perform its statutory mission and meet its program goals and objectives. The FEC budget justification is structured to reflect its mission to administer and enforce the three main components of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (FECA):

Additionally, the Commission has the mandated responsibility to compile information and review procedures related to the administration of federal elections.

Programs, Objectives and Goals (See p. 21)

To accomplish its mission, the FEC has established six major programs. For each program, the Commission has defined objectives and goals that are provided in the full discussion (p. 12 to 37). The programs are listed below, followed by the dollar amount and FTE needed to achieve the objectives and goals under the FY 2003 Budget:

Information Technology (IT) Enhancements (See p. 32)

The budget request funds IT initiatives as outlined in the IT Strategic Plan (Appendix C), including the following areas:

The FEC plans to complete the current IT initiatives by FY 2004. The PDP will represent the major new IT initiative from FY 2003-2007. The PDP is the next step in which the IT initiatives will become accessible to all users in a logical, integrated manner. The goal of PDP is to provide simple but powerful access to the upgraded system providing both internal and external users with custom browsing techniques for accessing the system functions. These tools will allow users to efficiently query the FEC’s databases.

Electronic Filing (See p. 33)

By 1998, the FEC implemented the voluntary electronic filing system for use by any political committee, other than Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees that are required by law to file their reports with the Secretary of the Senate, and therefore, cannot participate in the FEC electronic filing program. The voluntary program was successful, with over 1,000 committees filing reports electronically in the 2000 election cycle.

On September 29, 1999, the President signed the FY 2000 Treasury, General Government Appropriations Act that mandated electronic filing in the 2002 election cycle for political committees reaching a certain threshold, excluding Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees. The provision was effective for reporting periods beginning after December 31, 2000. Mandatory electronic filing began in 2001 with the filing of the monthly reports due on February 20, 2001.

The IT enhancements included in the FY 2003 budget will enable the FEC to initiate an OCR process for Senate documents and other committees below the mandatory electronic filing thresholds.

Educational and outreach efforts by the Commission have been successful, as the first results indicate a high compliance with the mandatory electronic filing requirements. So far, only a few committees that met the activity threshold filed a paper report rather than submitting an electronic filing.

Full realization of the potential of mandatory electronic filing will require the funding of several of our programmatic requests for FY 2002 and 2003. These initiatives include enhanced automated review, the data mining project, and the upgrades of the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) staff engaged in the automated review process. Based on the agreed FY 2003 Budget Request, the data mining project will be delayed until FY 2004 or later.

By the 2004 election cycle, based upon our experiences with the 2002 cycle and the results of the RAD business process review, as well as the data mining project, the FEC expected to realize the full benefits of both electronic filing and the IT enhancements in the document processing and reports review programs. This full realization will be delayed as the data mining project is not funded in the revised FY 2003 budget request, and will be delayed until at least FY 2004. The FEC will put a priority on funding the data mining initiative in FY 2003 if any funds do become available at an early point in the fiscal year.

Point of Entry (See p. 35)

The IT Enhancements will support implementation and operation of an enhanced document imaging system. The updated imaging system and the new client server infrastructure will enhance both the external user interface with the disclosure process and FEC internal processing and use of in-house documents.

FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
FY 2003 BUDGET REQUEST

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) submits a budget request of $45,244,000 and 362 FTE for FY 2003, an increase of $1,555,000 (3.6%) and no increase in FTE over our FY 2002 appropriation.[1] This request represents a continuation of the FY 2002 funding level, as adjusted for inflation and salary and benefits increases, with no programmatic increases. This request was arrived at during negotiations with the OMB during the preparation of the FY 2003 President’s Budget Request. As a result of the negotiations, the FEC agreed to drop the request for programmatic increases in FY 2003, and OMB agreed to support the FEC’s Current Services level for FY 2003, as adjusted for the requested 2.6% COLA in FY 2003.

Therefore, the FEC requires a FY 2003 Current Services budget of $45,244,000 to support 362 FTE. As a personnel intensive regulatory agency, 70% of the Current Services budget is allocated to salaries and benefits. The remaining funds are allocated to: information technology (IT) initiatives and operations (11.5%), rent (8%), programmatic support of educational outreach, informational, audit, compliance, enforcement and election administration programs (6.5%), and telephones, equipment, supplies, postage and printing (4%).

In addition to the Current Services level, the Commission originally requested $3,825,000 and 6 FTE for programmatic increases in FY 2003. These increases from our FY 2002 appropriation included:

As noted, the FEC dropped the request for these programmatic initiatives and settled on the adjusted Current Services level for FY 2003. As a result, the funding level contained in this budget request will enable the Commission to:

Difference Between FY 2002 Appropriation and FY 2003 Request

The FEC FY 2003 request of $45,244,000 and 362 FTE is $1,555,000 more than the enacted FY 2002 appropriation. This 3.6% increase is attributable to $1,341,000 for increases in pay and benefits costs, and $214,000 for GSA rent and other overhead (See Table 1, p. 15.)

The FEC Current Services budget for FY 2003 would support FEC core programs, but would provide for only a limited program of federal assistance to state and local elections officials charged with administering federal elections. It does not provide the level of funding necessary to develop operational standards for elections administration. Within the Current Services level of funding, the FEC’s Office of Elections Administration (OEA) would embark on a limited process to develop these management guidelines.

The FY 2003 request does maintain the FEC’s base programs and does provide sufficient staff to allow us to achieve our basic mission. However, it does not provide for any new initiatives, and would not provide for resource flexibility if significant campaign finance legislation were enacted.

The continuing increase in total financial activity in federal elections and the prospect of significant campaign and electoral reforms require robust and vigorous disclosure and enforcement programs. Without at least our Current Services level of $45,244,000 and 362 FTE, the FEC cannot support the costs of its necessary programs.

Any reductions below the FEC/OMB budget request would require reductions in staff or programs or a combination of both that would affect our disclosure and enforcement programs and would jeopardize support for congressionally-mandated programs and FEC initiatives the agency must implement. In addition, the FEC must be prepared to implement any campaign finance reform enacted. Depending on the scope of campaign finance legislation, the FEC could face significant additional resource needs. Further, any reductions below the FEC/OMB budget would foreclose the already limited opportunity for the FEC to assist state and local election officials to develop operational guidelines and address a variety of election administration issues, including acquisition of new voting systems, administering elections, ballot design, and public education.

FEC has been operating for several fiscal years under Congressional earmarks that set aside $4 to $5 million each year for IT initiatives to implement legislative mandates, including mandatory electronic filing, faster, more user friendly disclosure requirements, and an administrative fine program to streamline enforcement against late and non-filers under the FECA. The FEC requires funding at least at the Current Services level to ensure that these projects, as well as other IT initiatives are fully implemented and operational. It does not make sound management sense to delay or eliminate projects that have taken 5 to 6 years to develop and implement just as they reach fruition. Many of these projects are scheduled to provide productivity benefits in FY 2002 and 2003. Full realization of the multiyear investments in the IT infrastructure will require the funding requested through FY 2003.

Tables 1, 2 and 3 on the following pages provide greater detail about the increases from FY 2002 to FY 2003.

TABLE 1A. FEC FY 2002 TO FY 2003: SUMMARY DIFFERENCES (CURRENT SERVICES LEVEL FOR FY 2003)
FY 02-03 1/29/02 FY 2002 FROM 2002 INCREMENT FY 2003
OBJECT CLASS 362 FTE 362 FTE

SALARIES AND BENEFITS 29,398,000 104,500 29,502,500
2003 WIG INCREASES - 188,000 188,000
2002 COLA - 301,500 301,500
2003 COLA - 694,000 694,000
TRANSIT SUBSIDY 312,000 3,000 315,000
OVERTIME 170,000 30,000 200,000
CASH AWARDS 335,000 15,000 350,000
OTHER 30,000 5,000 35,000
PERSONNEL 30,245,000 1,341,000 31,586,000

IT PROJECTS 4,067,000 (102,000) 3,965,000
GSA RENT 3,633,000 117,000 3,750,000
DOJ DOCUMENT IMAGING 150,000 - 150,000
OEA ELECT. REFORM - - -
OTHER NON-PERS. 5,594,000 199,000 5,793,000

NON-PERSONNEL 13,444,000 214,000 13,658,000

TOTAL FEC 43,689,000 1,555,000 45,244,000

 

TABLE 1B. PERCENTAGE INCREASES FY 2002 TO 2003
FY 2002 TO FY 2003 FY 2002 FROM 2002
INCREMENT
FROM 2002
PERCENT
FY 2003
OBJECT CLASS 362 FTE 362 FTE

PERSONNEL 30,245,000 1,341,000 4.43% 31,586,000

IT PROJECTS 4,067,000 (102,000) -2.51% 3,965,000
GSA RENT 3,633,000 117,000 3.22% 3,750,000
DOJ DOCUMENT IMAGING 150,000 - 0.00% 150,000
OTHER NON-PERS. 5,594,000 199,000 3.56% 5,793,000

NON-PERSONNEL 13,444,000 214,000 1.59% 13,658,000

TOTAL FEC 43,689,000 1,555,000 3.56% 45,244,000

 

TABLE 2. FEC STAFFING HISTORY
10-Oct FEC HISTORICAL FTE
OFFICE FY 97
ACTUAL
FY 98
ACTUAL
FY 99
ACTUAL
FY 2000
ACTUAL
FY 2001
ACTUAL
FY 2002
MPLAN
FY 2003
C SERVICE
FY 2003
FULL REQ.
30-Sep 30-Sep 30-Sep 30-Sep 30-Sep 362 FTE 362 FTE 368 FTE

COMMISSIONERS 15.6 15.2 17.6 18.4 21.0 20.0 20.0 20.0
STAFF DIRECTOR 24.0 23.4 22.9 24.7 24.2 27.0 27.0 27.0
ADMINISTRATION 19.5 18.5 20.4 22.2 22.0 20.0 20.0 20.0
AUDIT 33.6 31.8 34.3 40.0 37.2 40.0 40.0 40.0
INFORMATION 12.9 12.2 11.9 12.8 12.9 13.0 13.0 13.0
GENERAL COUNSEL 92.8 99.4 107.8 113.3 113.9 118.0 118.0 118.0
OEA 4.8 4.8 4.9 4.9 4.0 5.0 5.0 11.0
DATA SYSTEMS 37.9 40.6 46.1 46.5 44.6 54.0 54.0 54.0
PUBLIC DISCLOSURE 12.5 13.5 13.3 13.4 12.9 13.0 13.0 13.0
REPORTS ANALYSIS 39.0 39.6 38.9 42.1 44.8 44.0 44.0 44.0
I.G. OFFICE 4.0 3.7 4.0 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0

ADR 0.4 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.0
OAR 0.4 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0

TOTAL 296.6 302.7 322.1 343.1 345.2 362.0 362.0 368.0

 

TABLE 3. FEC FY 2002 TO FY 2003: DETAILED DIFFERENCES
FY 2003 BUDGET FY 02 M PLAN FY 2003 FY 2003
OBJECT CLASS 362 FTE INCREMENT 362 FTE

SALARIES/BENF 29,710,000 1,291,000 31,001,000
OVERTIME 170,000 30,000 200,000
WITNESSES 5,000 - 5,000
CASH AWARDS 335,000 15,000 350,000
OTHER 25,000 5,000 30,000
PERSONNEL 30,245,000 1,341,000 31,586,000

21.01 TRAVEL 502,500 8,500 511,000
22.01 TRANS/THGS 58,000 7,000 65,000
23.11 GSA SPACE 3,633,000 117,000 3,750,000
23.21 COM. SPACE 42,500 5,500 48,000
23.31 EQUIP RENT 216,000 24,000 240,000
23.32 TELE LOCAL 170,000 10,000 180,000
23.33 LDIST/TELEG 55,000 7,500 62,500
23.34 TELE INTCTY 55,000 5,000 60,000
23.35 POSTAGE 175,000 - 175,000
24.01 PRINTING 352,000 22,000 374,000
24.02 MICROFILM 25,000 5,000 30,000
25.11 TRAINING 359,000 (62,500) 296,500
25.12 ADMIN EXP 213,500 14,500 228,000
25.13 DEP/TRANSC 80,000 5,000 85,000
25.21 CONTRACTS 2,545,500 812,500 3,358,000
25.23 REPAIR/MAIN 7,500 2,500 10,000
25.24 TUITION 5,000 - 5,000
25.31 FED AGENCY 345,000 36,000 381,000
25.41 FACIL MAINT 107,000 50,500 157,500
25.71 EQUIP/MAINT 891,000 123,000 1,014,000
25.72 SFT/HRDWRE 1,382,000 99,000 1,481,000
26.01 SUPPLIES 378,000 22,500 400,500
26.02 PUBS 254,000 7,000 261,000
26.03 PUBS SERV 255,500 3,500 259,000
31.01 EQP PURCH 1,337,000 (1,111,000) 226,000
NON-PERSONNEL 13,444,000 214,000 13,658,000

TOTAL FEC 43,689,000 1,555,000 45,244,000

FEC Staffing and Workloads

FY 2003 will encompass the 2002 general election and most of the post-election disclosure and enforcement work for that election cycle. The 2000 elections broke all records for total financial activity in federal elections, and this record level of financial activity should continue for the 2002 elections.

Despite large increases in Commission workloads because of increasing federal election-related campaign finance activity, the FEC has been relying on management initiatives and information technology advancements to improve productivity rather than adding staff. Total disbursements in federal elections have increased by over 1000% since 1976: from $300 million to over $3.7 billion in the 2000 cycle. This has translated into workload increases such as a 27% increase in documents filed since 1984 and an increase of 400% in the number of transactions entered into the database since the 1984 election cycle. The FEC has processed these record level workloads with minimal increases in the staff processing and reviewing the reports.

As a result of the dramatic increase in activity, our available resources dictate that we audit and investigate a relatively small number of committees. With approximately 8,000 committees filing reports each election cycle, the FEC audits about 45 committees per cycle, or about .6% of the filing universe. With an average active caseload of between 100 to 150 enforcement cases in any given month, approximately 50% of the complaints received by the FEC are activated.

The Commission has attempted to maximize the effectiveness of the compliance and enforcement programs through the increased use of technology and with management initiatives to better focus the resources available. Because of the modest size of many of our compliance and enforcement programs, any reduction in staffing below our Current Services base will jeopardize our basic mission and objectives.

Campaign finance activity for the congressional election in the 2002 election cycle could reach $3 billion in total disbursements for federal campaigns, from 8,000 committees filing over 80,000 reports and generating 2.5 million itemized transactions in the FEC Disclosure Database. For the 2004 cycle, campaign finance activity could exceed $4 billion in total disbursements from 8,500 committees filing over 85,000 reports and generating 3 million itemized transactions.

Realizing additional future efficiencies from the mandatory electronic filing program will help keep staffing needs at current levels in the disclosure program. The Commission has managed new records for total campaign finance activity in presidential and congressional elections each election cycle since 1992, with limited staff increases. Our original request for FY 2003 only provided for additional staff and resources for the OEA, with no additional staff for any other programs. The final FY 2003 Current Services request includes the five additional FTE allocated to the IT programs in the enacted FY 2002 appropriation, but has no additional staff for FY 2003.

Despite the prospect of continuing increases in record amounts of campaign finance activity in federal elections, the FEC has requested no additional resources for the compliance and enforcement programs. Given the expected volume of money involved in the 2002 and 2004 election cycles, we believe that the FEC request for FY 2003 is fully supported and is a modest one.

Budgetary History

Table 4A provides an historical view of the FEC budget, allocated among its organizational units. Table 4B is an historical summary of the FEC budget, by object class.

TABLE 4A. COMMISSION ORGANIZATIONAL UNITS FY 1998-2003
DIVISION/OFFICE FY 1998
ACTUAL
FY 1999
ACTUAL
FY 2000
ACTUAL
FY 2001
ACTUAL
FY 2002
FEC M PLAN
FY 2003
FEC REQUEST
30-Oct-01
302.7 FTE 322.1 FTE 343 FTE 345.2 FTE 362 FTE 362 FTE

COMMISSIONERS $1,657,033 $1,959,391 $2,198,783 $2,496,325 $2,534,800 $2,629,000
STAFF DIRECTOR $1,979,493 $2,109,166 $2,293,691 $2,807,225 $3,474,700 $3,592,900
SDO/CS/ADR/OAR 847,853 975,816 1,156,848 1,556,215 2,065,900 2,139,000
PLANNING/BUDGET 148,505 117,879 124,258 174,903 237,600 242,700
PERSONNEL 444,399 460,978 439,733 500,027 532,100 545,700
PRESS 446,999 489,233 471,451 473,318 515,300 536,800
EEO 91,737 65,260 101,401 102,762 123,800 128,700
ADMINISTRATION $5,261,672 $6,933,574 $6,671,251 $6,433,017 $6,925,700 $7,204,800
AUDIT $2,294,643 $2,505,010 $3,142,326 $3,308,625 $3,541,900 $3,697,500
INFORMATION $984,001 $962,716 $1,059,900 $1,073,303 $1,088,400 $1,125,700
GENERAL COUNSEL $8,839,611 $9,782,429 $10,213,174 $10,838,740 $11,664,800 $12,181,700
OEA $530,507 $759,662 $590,128 $873,406 $932,400 $963,400
DATA SYSTEMS $2,753,863 $3,317,844 $3,363,794 $3,223,540 $4,150,600 $4,296,200
PUBLIC DISCLOSURE $806,102 $812,399 $836,118 $828,600 $951,700 $1,016,800
RAD $1,856,679 $1,946,126 $2,186,245 $2,520,835 $2,576,200 $2,702,500
IG $276,464 $319,507 $348,773 $349,672 $392,600 $411,800
CASH AWARDS $- $- $- $- $335,000 $350,000
IT/EF/INTERNET $2,935,915 $4,360,604 $5,370,882 $5,612,170 $5,120,200 $5,071,700
LAPSE $724,017 $1,022,572 $2,935 $45,442 - -

TOTAL $30,900,000 $36,791,000 $38,278,000 $40,410,900 $43,689,000 $45,244,000

BUDGETS FOR THE SDO COMPONENTS ARE SUBTOTALS OF THE SDO TOTAL.

Note: Cash Awards are allocated to the Divisions/Offices of the recipients as they were awarded in prior years, but the FY 2002 and 2003 totals are depicted for the entire Commission on a separate line as they have not been awarded for those two years. The table on the next page shows the total cash award budget for the Commission in prior years.

TABLE 4B. OBJECT CLASS SUMMARY
OBJECT CLASS FY 1998
ACTUAL
FY 1999
ACTUAL
FY 2000 *
ACTUAL
FY 2001
ACTUAL
FY 2002
PLANNED
FY 2003
FEC REQUEST
29-Jan-02
Sep-98 Sep-99 Sep-00 Sep-01 362 FTE 362 FTE

SALARIES AND BENEFITS 20,261,967 22,235,004 25,098,185 26,841,500 29,710,000 31,001,000
OVERTIME 144,654 192,035 192,248 163,625 170,000 200,000
WITNESSES 600 - 2,249 2,611 5,000 5,000
CASH AWARDS 181,995 230,357 227,223 309,621 335,000 350,000
OTHER 6,000 31,360 10,737 15,322 25,000 30,000
TOTAL PERSONNEL 20,595,216 22,688,756 25,530,642 27,332,679 30,245,000 31,586,000

21.01 TRAVEL 164,027 232,492 455,977 337,393 502,500 511,000
22.01 TRANS. OF THINGS 31,511 100,510 244,862 38,918 58,000 65,000
23.11 GSA SPACE 2,484,470 3,086,301 3,354,593 3,397,987 3,633,000 3,750,000
23.21 COMMERCIAL SPACE 25,000 28,670 43,743 37,489 42,500 48,000
23.31 EQUIPMENT RENTAL 101,117 166,278 151,160 194,149 216,000 240,000
23.32 TELEPHONE LOCAL 223,534 216,199 146,738 172,319 170,000 180,000
23.33 LONG DIST./TELEG. 19,769 25,725 28,684 26,707 55,000 62,500
23.34 TELEPHONE INTERCY. 37,500 38,874 52,573 43,439 55,000 60,000
23.35 POSTAGE 217,163 179,647 174,977 171,475 175,000 175,000
24.01 PRINTING 260,578 220,533 274,291 243,722 352,000 374,000
24.02 MICROFILM PRINTS 16,664 22,644 19,500 22,138 25,000 30,000
25.11 TRAINING 95,251 218,368 90,761 143,072 359,000 296,500
25.12 ADMIN. EXPENSES 122,398 162,092 127,339 127,166 213,500 228,000
25.13 DEPOSITIONS/TRANS. 41,323 37,819 69,662 53,000 80,000 85,000
25.21 CONTRACTS/OTHER 2,162,292 2,746,609 2,811,604 2,104,061 2,545,500 3,358,000
25.23 OTHER REP./MAINT. 3,261 3,176 3,893 3,145 7,500 10,000
25.24 TUITION 1,333 - 2,497 7,592 5,000 5,000
25.31 FED. AGENCY SERV. 1,102,782 1,472,788 646,597 335,640 345,000 381,000
25.41 FACIL. MAINT. 145,273 144,502 332,887 165,033 107,000 157,500
25.71 EQUIP. REP./MAINT. 216,982 210,190 236,783 177,735 891,000 1,014,000
25.72 SOFT/HARDWARE 381,710 2,094,899 2,053,512 2,505,375 1,382,000 1,481,000
26.01 SUPPLIES AND MAT. 345,497 298,194 380,646 346,969 378,000 400,500
26.02 PUBLICATIONS 142,463 187,396 191,968 212,893 254,000 261,000
26.03 PUBLICATIONS SERV. 107,890 179,919 210,924 226,342 255,500 259,000
31.01 EQUIP. PURCHASES 1,130,979 1,005,847 638,252 1,939,020 1,337,000 226,000
NON-PERSONNEL TOTAL 9,580,767 13,079,672 12,744,423 13,032,779 13,444,000 13,658,000

LAPSE END OF FY 724,017 1,022,572 2,935 45,442

TOTAL FEC 30,900,000 36,791,000 38,278,000 40,410,900 43,689,000 45,244,000

Note: cash awards for prior FY’s are actual as awarded; the FY 2002 and 2003 totals are budgeted amounts.

Program/Objective Analysis [2]

Mission

The FEC budget is based on the agency’s fundamental mission to administer and to enforce the three main components of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (FECA):

Additionally, following the mandate of the statute, the Commission’s mission includes serving as a clearinghouse for the compilation of information and review of procedures with respect to the administration of federal elections.

Programs

To accomplish this mission, the Commission has established six major core and management programs.

The core programs are:

The management programs are:

Within each of the core programs, the Commission has defined specific objectives. To achieve these objectives, the Commission must accomplish certain goals. To the extent that the agency succeeds in reaching these goals and objectives, it will fulfill its fundamental mission. The core and management programs are described below in terms of their objectives and related goals, and a series of tables supplement the explanation.

Overview of FEC Programs

Tables 5A, 5B, and 5C provide an overview of the FEC budget, by program. Table 5A shows the total dollars budgeted for each program; Table 5B distinguishes between personnel and non-personnel costs; and Table 5C shows the personnel (FTE) for each program. Tables 5A and 5C indicate what percentage of the total budget request each program represents.

TABLE 5A. COMMISSION BUDGET BY PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
PROGRAM FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
$ FEC % $ FEC % $ FEC %

PROMOTE DISCLOSURE $7,707,370 19% $8,482,189 19% $8,831,332 20%
OBTAIN COMPLIANCE $10,144,898 25% $11,372,207 26% $13,437,967 30%
PUBLIC FINANCING $3,103,017 8% $3,277,704 8% $1,861,810 4%
ELECTIONS ADMIN. $873,406 2% $932,400 2% $963,400 2%
IT/EF PROJECTS $5,612,170 14% $5,120,200 12% $5,071,700 11%
COMM. POLICY/ADMIN. $12,924,598 32% $14,504,299 33% $15,077,791 33%

COMMISSION TOTAL $40,365,458 - $43,689,000 - $45,244,000 -

 

TABLE 5B. COMMISSION BUDGET BY PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OBJECTIVE PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

PROMOTE DISCLOSURE $6,546,315 $7,099,380 $7,394,297 $1,161,055 $1,382,809 $1,437,036 $7,707,370 $8,482,189 $8,831,332
OBTAIN COMPLIANCE $9,052,481 $9,975,841 $11,890,092 $1,092,417 $1,396,366 $1,547,875 $10,144,898 $11,372,207 $13,437,967
PUBLIC FINANCING $2,659,897 $2,889,579 $1,582,650 $443,121 $388,125 $279,160 $3,103,017 $3,277,704 $1,861,810
ELECTIONS ADMIN. $449,270 $507,900 $532,900 $424,136 $424,500 $430,500 $873,406 $932,400 $963,400
IT/EF PROJECTS $972,776 $1,053,200 $1,106,700 $4,639,394 $4,067,000 $3,965,000 $5,612,170 $5,120,200 $5,071,700
COMM. POLICY/ADMIN. $7651,941 $8,719,100 $9,079,361 $5,272,657 $5,785,199 $5,998,429 $12,924,598 $14,504,299 $15,077,791

COMMISSION TOTAL $2733,267 $3,024,500 $3,158,600 $1,303,277 $1,344,400 $1,365,800 $4,036,545 $4,368,900 $4,524,400

 

TABLE 5C. COMMISSION BUDGET BY PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
PROGRAM FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE FEC % FTE FEC % FTE FEC %

PROMOTE DISCLOSURE 102.1 30% 107 30% 106.5 30%
OBTAIN COMPLIANCE 105.3 31% 112.5 31% 129.5 36%
PUBLIC FINANCING 33.2 10% 34.5 10% 18 5%
ELECTIONS ADMIN. 4 1% 5 1% 5 1%
IT/EF PROJECTS 13.5 4% 13.5 4% 13.5 4%
COMM. POLICY/ADMIN. 87.1 25% 89.5 25% 89.5 25%

COMMISSION TOTAL 345.2 - 362 - 362 -

Program I: Disclosure (Core Program)

Objectives

With regard to the Disclosure Program, the Federal Election Commission seeks to:

Goals

To achieve the above objectives, the FEC will strive to accomplish the goals listed below. More quantitative performance measures are included in the pertinent sections of the FEC Strategic Plan and FY 2003 Performance Plan attached to this justification in Appendices C and D.

Review and Processing of Reports

To achieve the accurate and timely review and processing of all reports, the Commission will:

Public Disclosure and Dissemination of Campaign Finance Data

To ensure that campaign finance data are widely distributed, the FEC will:

Education About the Law

To ensure that the public, the media and the campaign community fully understand the federal election law, and that information about the law is readily available, the FEC will:

Summary

The resources needed to meet the objectives and goals of the Disclosure Program in FY 2003 are summarized in Tables 6A and 6B.

TABLE 6A. DISCLOSURE PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE $698,471 $733,700 $770,300 $130,129 $218,000 $246,500 $828,600 $951,700 $1,016,800
DATA SYSTEMS $1,239,388 $1,566,368 $1,620,835 $540,404 $660,000 $683,650 $1,779,793 $2,226,368 $2,304,485
INFORMATION $833,029 $805,400 $847,200 $240,274 $283,000 $278,500 $1,073,303 $1,088,400 $1,125,700
PRESS OFFICE $432,977 $468,300 $484,800 $40,341 $47,000 $52,000 $473,318 $515,300 $536,800
OGC POLICY/REGS/AO'S $1,147,972 $1,227,562 $1,282,122 $93,851 $89,809 $94,386 $1,241,822 $1,317,371 $1,376,508
REPORTS ANALYSIS $2,194,478 $2,298,050 $2,389,040 $116,056 $85,000 $82,000 $2,310,534 $2,383,050 $2,471,040

PROGRAM TOTAL $6,546,315 $7,099,380 $7,394,297 $1,161,055 $1,382,809 $1,437,036 $7,707,370 $8,482,189 $8,831,332
COMMISSION PERCENT 24% 23% 23% 9% 10% 11% 19% 19% 20%

 

TABLE 6B. DISCLOSURE PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. %

PUBLIC DISCLOSURE 12.9 100% 13.0 100% 13.0 100%
DATA SYSTEMS 17.2 52% 21.5 53% 21.5 53%
INFORMATION 12.9 100% 13.0 100% 13.0 100%
PRESS OFFICE 4.8 100% 5.0 100% 5.0 100%
OGC POLICY/REGS/AO'S 13.1 12% 13.5 11% 13.5 11%
REPORTS ANALYSIS 41.2 92% 41.0 93% 40.5 92%

PROGRAM TOTAL 102.1 107.0 106.5
COMMISSION PERCENT 30% 30% 29%

Program II: Compliance (Core Program)

Objectives

The compliance program is based on the premise that the FEC’s first responsibility is to foster a willingness, on the part of the regulated community, to voluntarily comply with the law’s reporting requirements, fundraising restrictions and public funding statutes. The FEC encourages voluntary compliance through education (described under the Disclosure Program, p. 23). To buttress its educational efforts, the Commission carries out a Compliance Program with the following objectives:

Goals

For each of these objectives, the Commission defines the following goals:

Desk Audits

The Commission will:

Audits

In those cases where reports indicate that committees have failed to meet the threshold requirements for substantial compliance with the FECA, and have failed to voluntarily correct errors or omissions on their reports, the Commission will conduct 40-45 audits "for cause" for the 2002 election cycle, pursuant to 2 U.S.C. 438(b).

The Commission’s budget contains the resources added in FY 2001 to establish a "stand alone" Title 2 Audit "For Cause" Program (a PwC recommendation.) A total of two FTE’s allows the Audit Division to hire eight part-time student interns, which will enable the FEC to conduct approximately 40-45 Title 2 audits per cycle as opposed to the previous 20-25 per cycle. These part-time staff also will assist the auditors in performing Title 26 audits of Presidential committees that receive public funds. This proposal, along with other procedural changes, allows the Commission to maintain the Title 2 audit program even during presidential election cycles. In contrast, over the previous four cycles (1991-92 through 1997-98) an average of 9 authorized and 12 non-authorized committees had been slated for audit.

This budget also will allow the Commission to meet its goal of processing federal matching funds and completing the Title 26 Presidential audits within two years after the presidential elections. One FTE is dedicated to four temporary positions to begin to process matching fund requests in the last quarter of FY 2003 in anticipation of the 2004 presidential primaries (see Public Financing objective below).

Enforcement

Because the majority (63% since 1995) of the Commission’s caseload arises from complaints filed by parties outside the agency, the total caseload figure is not singularly affected by the number of FTE in enforcement. The number of FTE affects the proportion of the total enforcement caseload that can be handled substantively, as well as the proportion of the caseload that is active vs. inactive. (A substantive finding is a finding based on the merits of the matter [other than dismissal], including findings of "no reason to believe the FECA has been violated.") [4]

In past budget requests, the Commission has asked for additional resources for its compliance program. The Commission is not seeking additional staff resources, above 362 FTE, for its compliance programs in this budget request. Instead, OGC expects to maintain current performance levels. It is important to note, however, that maintaining staffing levels in OGC from FY 2000 and 2001 will limit the Commission’s capability to handle new major cases that may arise from the 2002 cycle.

To reach the objective of enforcing the law in a timely and fair way, the Commission plans to:

Administrative Fine Program and ADR

The Commission undertook two compliance initiatives in FY 2000 and 2001 to maximize the use of enforcement resources. Based on a legislative mandate, the FEC implemented an administrative fine program in July 2000 to reduce the OGC staff resources required to enforce timely filing of disclosure reports. Since the inception of the program, 311 cases have been placed on the public record, and civil money penalties totaling almost $400,000 have been collected (as of January 31, 2002.) There are many additional cases in various stages of the administrative fine process. The administrative fine program frees Commission resources for more complex, substantive enforcement actions.

The Commission also implemented an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program in FY 2001. The ADR program is designed to promote compliance with the federal election law by encouraging settlements outside the traditional enforcement or litigation processes. The program aims to expedite resolution of enforcement matters and to reduce the cost of processing complaints, and therefore, enhance overall FEC enforcement. Since the inception of the program in October 2000, 35 matters have been settled in the ADR process, requiring an average of 117 days from assignment to ADR to process and close (33 of the 35 agreements were accepted by the Commission). This program also frees Commission resources for other, more significant enforcement matters

Summary

Since 1995, with the institution of the Enforcement Priority System (EPS), the Commission’s enforcement workload has averaged about 240 total cases per month, with about 100 of those cases actively being worked on. In each election cycle, the FEC has averaged about 200 complaints and about 125-150 internal referrals. Historically, the FEC has closed about 40% of its cases with some form of substantive action, dismissing the others without formal action either due to staleness or lack of substantive issues. From FY 1998-2000, the Commission was able to increase the number of cases activated to over 50% of the incoming cases, and the average active to inactive caseload percentages improved to over 50% in FY 1999-2000. In addition, the number of cases dismissed, or closed without substantive Commission action, dropped significantly from an average of about 60% (FY 1995-1999) to 25% in FY 2000. This was accomplished without a major increase in authorized staff.

The FEC anticipates that the ADR and administrative fine programs will continue to enable the Commission to assign OGC enforcement resources to more complex, substantive matters. These programs expanded the number of compliance actions that the Commission enforcement program could process and resolve. From FY 1995 (when the EPS was installed) through FY 2000, the Commission averaged closing 205 cases each fiscal year. In FY 2001, the Commission closed a total of 517 enforcement matters or compliance actions, including cases in the administrative fine and ADR programs. This represents a 152% increase.

These two programs have allowed the Commission to expand the scope and reach of the enforcement process, and to streamline the case resolution process for late and non-filer cases, as well as to expedite the resolution of cases under ADR that might not have been activated under the EPS process (and might never have reached substantive resolution under the formal enforcement process). The two new programs help to ensure that limited enforcement resources are focused on more substantive and significant cases, yet allow the Commission to pursue the successful resolution of a major increase in the total number of cases processed. This is in response to both recommendations from the PwC review of the FECA and the FEC, and a desire by the Commission to improve the timeliness of FEC compliance actions. The administrative fine program was also congressionally mandated in language in the Commission’s appropriations legislation.

The Commission has set goals of activating more enforcement cases and dismissing fewer cases without substantive action. The ultimate goals of the ADR and administrative fine programs, the Case Management system, and other information technology enhancements to the enforcement program are to speed up the resolution of cases and to increase the number of cases closed with substantive Commission action.

The resources needed to meet the objectives and goals of the Compliance Program in FY 2003 are summarized in Tables 7A and 7B. We are requesting resources to maintain current performance levels; no additional resources are sought for the compliance program.

TABLE 7A. COMPLIANCE PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

REPORTS ANALYSIS $191,750 $168,150 $206,460 $18,551 $25,000 $25,000 $210,301 $193,150 $231,460
DATA SYSTEMS $129,703 $254,990 $263,857 $245,638 $300,000 $310,750 $375,342 $554,990 $574,607
AUDIT $801,704 $1,382,908 $2,556,750 $103,068 $122,400 $216,375 $904,771 $1,505,308 $2,773,125
OGC ENFORCEMENT $4,889,833 $5,273,969 $5,508,378 $399,761 $385,847 $405,508 $5,289,595 $5,659,817 $5,913,886
OGC LITIGATION $1,577,366 $1,682,214 $1,756,983 $128,955 $123,072 $129,343 $1,706,321 $1,805,286 $1,886,326
OGC PFESP $1,051,577 $772,909 $1,139,664 $85,970 $56,547 $83,898 $1,137,547 $829,456 $1,223,563
LEGAL DOCUMENT IINDEX $- $- $- $51,000 $150,000 $150,000 $51,000 $150,000 $150,000
ADR $230,982 $252,500 $260,800 $51,448 $166,500 $152,000 $282,430 $419,000 $412,800
OAR $179,565 $188,200 $197,200 $8,025 $67,000 $75,000 $187,590 $255,200 $272,200

PROGRAM TOTAL $9,052,481 $9,975,841 $11,890,092 $1,092,417 $1,396,366 $1,547,875 $10,144,898 $11,372,207 $13,437,967
COMMISSION PERCENT 33% 33% 38% 8% 10% 11% 25% 26% 30%

 

TABLE 7B. COMPLIANCE PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. %

REPORTS ANALYSIS 3.6 8% 3.0 7% 3.5 8%
DATA SYSTEMS 1.8 6% 3.5 9% 3.5 9%
AUDIT 10.2 27% 17.0 43% 30.0 75%
OGC ENFORCEMENT 55.8 49% 58.0 49% 58.0 49%
OGC LITIGATION 18.0 16% 18.5 16% 18.5 16%
OGC PFESP 12.0 11% 8.5 7% 12.0 10%
LEGAL DOCUMENT IINDEX
ADR 1.9 100% 2.0 100% 2.0 100%
OAR 2.0 100% 2.0 100% 2.0 100%

PROGRAM TOTAL 105.3 112.5 129.5
COMMISSION PERCENT 31% 31% 36%

*Office of General Counsel’s Public Financing, Ethics, and Special Projects staff

** Contract for legal document imaging and indexing

Program III: Public Financing (Core Program)

Objectives

Under the Public Financing Program, the Commission seeks to:

Goals

To reach the objectives described above, the Commission will:

Summary

For FY 2003, the resources needed to complete the 2000 cycle and prepare to implement the public financing program in the 2004 election cycle are summarized in Tables 8A and 8B.

TABLE 8A: PUBLIC FINANCING PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

AUDIT $2,130,017 $1,870,993 $852,250 $273,836 $165,600 $72,125 $2,403,854 $2,036,593 $924,375
DATA SYSTEMS $21,617 $109,281 $113,081 $127,732 $156,000 $161,590 $149,349 $265,281 $274,671
OGC PFESP $508,262 $909,305 $617,318 $41,552 $66,525 $45,445 $549,815 $975,831 $662,763

PROGRAM TOTAL $2,659,897 $2,889,579 $1,582,650 $443,121 $388,125 $279,160 $3,103,017 $3,277,704 $1,861,810
COMMISSION PERCENT 10% 10% 5% 3% 3% 2% 8% 8% 4%

 

TABLE 8B. PUBLIC FINANCING PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. %

AUDIT 27.1 73% 23.0 58% 10.0 25%
DATA SYSTEMS 0.3 1% 1.5 4% 1.5 4%
OGC PFESP 5.8 5% 10.0 8% 6.5 6%

PROGRAM TOTAL 33.2 34.5 18.0
COMMISSION PERCENT 10% 10% 5%

Program IV: Election Administration (Core Program)

Objectives

Through the FEC Office of Election Administration, the agency will:

Goals

To realize the objectives described above the Commission, through the Office of Election Administration, will:

Summary

Resources needed to reach these goals in FY 2003 are summarized in Table 9A and 9B.

TABLE 9A. ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

ELECTIONS ADMIN. $449,270 $507,900 $532,900 $424,136 $424,500 $430,500 $873,406 $932,400 $963,400

PROGRAM TOTAL $449,270 $507,900 $532,900 $424,136 $424,500 $430,500 $873,406 $932,400 $963,400
COMMISSION PERCENT 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 3% 2% 2% 2%

 

TABLE 9B. ELECTIONS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. %

ELECTIONS ADMIN. 4.0 100% 5.0 100% 5.0 100%

PROGRAM TOTAL 4.0 5.0 5.0
COMMISSION PERCENT 1% 1% 1%

Program V: IT and Electronic Filing Projects (Management Program)

The Commission will allocate $5,535,500 of its FY 2003 budget request to fund IT initiatives and the electronic filing program. This amount, which is provided for in the FEC’s IT Strategic Plan,[7] represents an increase of $415,300 (8%) from the FY 2002 IT budget of $5,120,200. This funding will enable the FEC to continue the installation of the new client/server infrastructure, meet its statutory responsibilities under mandatory electronic filing, and undertake additional initiatives to further enhance the IT systems at the FEC.

IT Enhancements

Under the FY 2003 Budget Request, the agency will continue to implement and expand upon the IT enhancements initiated in previous years, including IT initiatives in the following areas:

Client/Server Environment: Development and Data Conversion

For many years, the Commission relied on a terminal-based computer system. Under this system, one central location served as the site where all data were stored and where all processing occurred. In 1995, the Commission took its first steps to migrate from a terminal-based system to a Client/Server environment. In addition to creating a more efficient systems environment that conforms to accepted industry standards, this project will allow the FEC to enhance the disclosure functions on the Website by improving search capabilities and providing more flexible data retrieval options.

In FY 2002-2003, the Commission will continue the transition from the terminal-based model to the new Client/Server-based system, with the conversion of the disclosure database to the new environment. The migration of the disclosure database involves the restructuring of several million data records and the conversion of thousands of programs used to store, retrieve and display information contained in the FEC database.

Document Management

Document management involves several components:

The process involves scanning images of documents into the computer and then organizing the imaged documents so they can be easily retrieved and reviewed. In conjunction with the client/server development, the process will benefit both external users and the FEC internal users.

Portal Development Project (PDP)

The client/server environment will be the foundation for the Portal Development Project (PDP) scheduled to begin in FY 2003. This project (PDP) envisions using the enhanced IT systems to develop web-based access to FEC data and information for both external and internal users. The development of custom formats for individual users will allow flexible and user friendly operation of FEC data retrieval systems. This conforms to the Administration initiative to streamline and modernize the federal government and to implement E-government.

Also included in FY 2002-2003 is completion of the migration of the finance and accounting systems to the new environment, with future work on the Human Resources (personnel) systems and other management systems such as budget, planning, MIS, and purchasing. Other internal documents and systems will be converted over to the client server environment in FY 2003 and FY 2004.

Additional Staff for IT Projects

The FY 2003 Request includes the five additional FTE for Data Systems staff, originally funded in FY 2002, for the IT projects. The original IT Strategic Plan envisioned 8.5 FTE for the three major IT initiatives. In recent FYs, however, the Data Systems Division has been allocating 12 to 14 FTE annually to the IT projects, at the expense of other data programs and projects. Without the five additional FTE, Data Systems will have severe difficulties in meeting the time frames in the IT Strategic Plan during FY 2002 and FY 2003. The FY 2003 Current Services level reflects the five additional positions first funded in FY 2002.

Electronic Filing

Progress to Date

By 1998, the FEC electronic filing system was implemented, and was optional for any political committee, other than Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees.[8] During FYs 2000 and 2001, the FEC continued to develop incentives to encourage committees to file voluntarily their reports electronically, and in the 2000 election cycle more than 1,000 committees filed their reports electronically.

The mandatory electronic filing provision in the FY 2000 Treasury and General Government Appropriations bill required the FEC to establish thresholds for mandatory electronic filing for committees effective for the 2002 election cycle. The rulemaking was implemented by December 2000. The FEC has the capacity to handle all electronically filed reports. To initiate the program, the FEC:

Future Efforts

The FEC will continue to review the electronic filing procedures to improve the process, including:

Development of new processes to improve internal document flow in the mandatory electronic filing environment will continue into FY 2002 and FY 2003. The automated review of reports will be expanded and enhanced. Spending on this initiative during FY 2003 also includes funds for on-going operation and maintenance of the electronic filing system during the 2002 and 2004 election cycles.

Data Input

The FEC will continue to input manually the data taken from reports filed by Senate committees and committees that do not meet the established threshold and choose not to file electronically. In FY 2003, as an alternative to manual input, the FEC will begin development of an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system to process paper filings.

Data Mining

In FY 2003, $250,000 was originally requested to develop data mining to review disclosure data for patterns of behavior that may extend to more than one filer. This project will now be delayed until at least FY 2004.

Past IT Initiatives

The Commission has been working on a series of IT initiatives, including electronic filing, since 1995. These initiatives significantly improved the FEC’s disclosure services while holding to a minimum the need for additional staff to provide these services. This is in the face of record setting levels of campaign finance activity on the federal level in every election cycle since 1992.

Response to Growing Demand for Information

Enhanced information technology has enabled the FEC to respond to a growing demand for information—and to deliver the information faster—without additional staff. Through the FEC automated fax system and the Internet, the public can instantaneously access FEC forms, publications and campaign finance data.

Larger Audience Using Data

Additionally, the new technology has broadened the audience for existing services. In the past, for example, a limited community of campaign finance specialists accessed the FEC data-base through the Direct Access Program (DAP), a fee-for-service program.[9] The agency has now made it possible for these same experts—and the public as a whole—to access the data cost-free on the Internet. During FY 2001, the agency continued its conversion from the DAP to the FEC website.

Point of Entry Completed

The Commission successfully completed its Point-of-Entry initiative in 2000. Under this program, all political committees (except Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees[10]) file their reports with the Commission (either on paper or electroni-cally). The Commission scans the paper documents to make images that are available for review on FEC computers and on the Website. Images of Senate documents are electronically transmitted to the FEC and automatically added to the FEC imaging database. Electronically filed documents are imaged and retrievable from the Website, in the same format as if filed on paper. Imaged filings are available for calendar years 1993 through the present cycle.

Lower Costs

The FEC successfully contracted for some of its IT initiatives at a lower cost than initially anticipated. The design of the electronic filing system came in under budget. Similarly, the initial cost of developing a system to provide images of reports available to the public through the FEC Website was nearly 37 percent lower than the amount Congress appropriated for the initiative.

Summary: Electronic Filing and IT Enhancements

the total request for IT enhancements and electronic filing in FY 2003 is $5,535,500. Tables 10A and 10B summarize the costs contained in the FY 2003 budget. The IT Strategic Plan discusses the initiatives planned for FY 2003 and beyond. The major new initiative scheduled to begin in FY 2003 with completion in FY 2007, is the portal development project that will integrate the IT systems into a web-based access environment for both external and internal users.

TABLE 10A. COMPUTERIZATION INITIATIVES COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

ADP ENHANCEMENTS $691,752 $818,200 $856,500 $3,709,247 $2,891,000 $2,770,500 $4,400,999 $3,709,200 $3,627,000
ELECTRONIC FILING $194,555 $156,000 $162,400 $897,838 $1,078,000 $1,090,000 $1,092,393 $1,234,000 $1,252,400
PT. OF ENTRY/INTERNET $86,469 $79,000 $87,800 $32,309 $98,000 $104,500 $118,778 $177,000 $192,300

PROGRAM TOTAL $972,776 $1,053,200 $1,106,700 $4,639,394 $4,067,000 $3,965,000 $5,612,170 $5,120,200 $5,071,700
COMMISSION PERCENT 4% 3% 4% 36% 30% 29% 14% 12% 11%

 

TABLE 10B. COMPUTERIZATION INITIATIVES FTE, FY 2001-2003
PROJECT FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE PROJ. % FTE PROJ. % FTE PROJ. %

ADP ENHANCEMENTS 9.6 71% 10.0 74% 10.0 74%
ELECTRONIC FILING 2.7 20% 2.5 19% 2.5 19%
PT. OF ENTRY/INTERNET 1.2 9% 1.0 7% 1.0 7%

PROGRAM TOTAL 13.5 13.5 13.5
COMMISSION PERCENT 4% 4% 4%

Program VI: Commission Policy and Administration (Management Program)

Tables 11A and 11B depict the costs and corresponding FTE for central policy guidance, management and staff support for all Commission operations that do not otherwise fit under the previously identified programs. Besides the offices of the six Commissioners and the Secretariat, this budget category includes all basic administrative overhead, such as rent, phones, postage, etc., and support functions, such as management, budget, accounting and personnel. Direct support costs for program-related items, such as travel, training, and printing, are allocated to specific Commission objectives and programs.

TABLE 11A. COMMISSION POLICY AND ADMIN. PROGRAM COSTS, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION PERSONNEL COSTS NON-PERSONNEL COSTS TOTAL COSTS
FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003

COMMISSIONERS $2,464,386 $2,489,800 $2,585,500 $31,939 $45,000 $43,500 $2,496,325 $2,534,800 $2,629,000
STAFF DIRECTOR $1,671,008 $2,025,200 $2,114,100 $192,879 $260,000 $257,000 $1,863,887 $2,285,200 $2,371,100
ADMINISTRATIVE $1,529,715 $1,608,200 $1,677,300 $4,903,302 $5,317,500 $5,527,500 $6,433,017 $6,925,700 $7,204,800
IG OFFICE $339,108 $377,100 $394,800 $10,564 $15,500 $17,000 $349,672 $392,600 $411,800
DATA SYSTEMS $850,278 $1,019,960 $1,055,427 $68,779 $84,000 $87,010 $919,057 $1,103,960 $1,142,437
OGC GENERAL COUNSEL $797,446 $863,840 $902,234 $65,194 $63,199 $66,419 $862,640 $927,039 $968,654
CASH AWARDS $- $335,000 $350,000 $- $335,000 $350,000

PROGRAM TOTAL $7,651,941 $8,719,100 $9,079,361 $5,272,657 $5,785,199 $5,998,429 $12,924,598 $14,504,299 $15,077,791
COMMISSION PERCENT 28% 29% 29% 40% 43% 44% 32% 33% 33%

TABLE 11B. COMMISSION POLICY AND ADMIN. PROGRAM FTE, FY 2001-2003
OFFICE/DIVISION FY 2001 FY 2002 FY 2003
FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. % FTE DIV. %

COMMISSIONERS 21.0 100% 20.0 100% 20.0 100%
STAFF DIRECTOR 19.4 100% 22.0 100% 22.0 100%
ADMINISTRATIVE 22.0 100% 20.0 100% 20.0 100%
IG OFFICE 3.8 100% 4.0 100% 4.0 100%
DATA SYSTEMS 11.8 36% 14.0 35% 14.0 33%
OGC GENERAL COUNSEL 9.1 8% 9.5 8% 9.5 8%
CASH AWARDS 0.0 0.0 0.0

PROGRAM TOTAL 87.1 89.5 89.5
COMMISSION PERCENT 25% 25% 25%


[1] The Commission's FY 2002 appropriation of $43,689,000 supports 362 FTE. The President’s FY 2003 proposed budget of $46,917,000 would support our FY 2003 Current Services level. The proposed OMB FY 2003 Budget also includes an adjustment of $1,673,000 to cover proposed changes in the manner of funding CSRS retirement costs and the FEHB costs of retired federal employees. Our request is composed of our adjusted Current Services estimate of $45,244,000 for 362 FTE (reduced by $396,000 from our original estimate for Current Services of $45,640,000 for 362 FTE to reflect a 2.6% versus a 4% pay increase.)

[2] This analysis is based on the Commission’s Strategic Plan and FY 2003 Performance Plan, submitted under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). For more information on the Strategic Plan and the Performance Plan, see Appendices D and E.

[3] Public funding of Presidential elections has three components: matching funds for qualified Presidential primary candidates; public grants for the Presidential nominees of major and minor parties; and public grants to major parties to run their national Presidential nominating conventions.

[4] There is a significant difference between mere "dismissal" and a finding of "no reason to believe" the law has been violated. A finding of "no reason to believe" reflects affirmative Commission action based on its consideration of the merits of the particular matter. A dismissal, on the other hand, usually reflects action by the Commission based on an application of the Enforcement Priority System criteria to a particular case to determine whether the case merits the use of the Commission’s limited resources.

[5] Under EPS, OGC evaluates enforcement cases based on carefully crafted, Commission-approved criteria to determine the relative significance of the allegations. EPS is a tool to match the seriousness of a particular case to the resources available to undertake an investigation of the matter.

[6] Examples of complex legal issues include possible "soft money" abuse, claims of improper coordination or express advocacy, and alleged laundered and/or foreign contributions.

[7] The FEC’s IT Strategic Plan is a running five-year plan, reviewed and updated annually. (See Appendix B.)

[8] Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees are required by law to file their reports with the Secretary of the Senate. Consequently, these committees are unable to participate at this time in the FEC’s electronic filing program.

[9] While used primarily by the campaign finance community, the Direct Access Program has always been available to the public.

[10] Senate committees and the national parties’ Senate campaign committees are required by law to file their reports with the Secretary of the Senate. Consequently, these committees are unable to participate at this time in the FEC’s electronic filing program.