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For Immediate Release
March 10, 2003
Contact: Kelly Huff
Ron Harris
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
REVISIONS TO ADMINISTRATIVE FINES PROGRAM APPROVED
WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission on March 6 approved revisions to its Administrative Fines Program in which the Commission assesses a civil penalty according to a published schedule of fines when it determines that a political committee has failed to file a financial report on time. The program is intended to save Commission resources while encouraging campaigns and committees to file reports on time. The new rules will become effective 30 days from the date they are transmitted to Congress and published in the Federal Register.

The two major revisions to the rules will reduce the civil money penalties for political committees with less than $50,000 in financial activity in the reporting period for which a report is filed late or not filed, and remove certain "non-federal" funds that some committees must disclose from the calculation used to assess the fine.

The revised rules create two additional levels of activity categories in the fine schedules to make finer distinctions in civil penalties assessed against committees with less than $50,000 in financial activity in the relevant reporting period that either file late or not at all. Additionally, the rules clarify how late and non-filers will be notified of Commission actions under the program; and provide examples of the factors that will not be considered "extraordinary circumstances" when Commission reason-to-believe findings are challenged.

The Administrative Fines Program continues to influence the timely filing of reports by committees. Since the inception, over 500 cases of late and non-filers have been placed on the public record, with civil money penalties collected totaling over $700,000.

A FEC analysis of reports covering the last three election cycles shows significant improvement in on-time filing during 2001-2002.

 

2001-2002 1999-2000 1997-1998
New Reports Filed 34,472 36,568 35,391
Reports Filed Late 5,129 6,684 7,012
Percentage Late 15% 18% 20%

(More detailed filing statistics attached below)

This improvement came about while the Administrative Fines Program and mandatory electronic filing for large committees (other than Senate filers) were being implemented. By providing both financial incentives for filing on time and an efficient method of doing so, the Commission has measurably improved compliance with financial reporting requirements.

 2001 Monthly Reports (July Monthly through December Monthly)

2001 Total Reports % of Total 1999 Total Reports % of Total 1997 Total Reports % of Total
Total Filed 3461 3250 3251
Filed Late 340 10% 505 16% 441 14%

Non Filed 25 12 14

 

2001 Total Reports % of Total 2001 Electronic Filings % of Total 2001Paper Filings % of Total
Total Filed 3461 2818 81% 643 19%
Filed Late 340 10% 183 6% 157 24%

Non Filed 25

 

2002 Monthly Reports (February Monthly through October Monthly)

2002 Total Reports % of Total 2000 Total Reports % of Total 1998 Total Reports % of Total
Total Filed 6275 6800 7043
Filed Late 350 6% 968 14% 991 14%

Non Filed 55 20 21

 

2002 Total Reports

% of Total

2002 Electronic Filings

% of Total

2002 Paper Filings

% of Total

Total Filed

6275

5442

87%

833

13%

Filed Late

350

6%

155

3%

195

23%


Non Filed

55

 

2002 Quarterly Reports(April Quarterly through 30 Day Post-General)

2002 Total Reports % of Total 2000 Total Reports % of Total 1998 Total Reports % of Total
Total Filed 20590 21778 20650
Filed Late 3646 18% 4332 20% 4780 23%

Non Filed 685 742 804

 

2002 QUARTERLY REPORTS: ELECTRONIC AND PAPER FILINGS (Does not include Mid-Year Report)

2002 Total Reports % of Total 2002 Electronic Filings % of Total 2002 Paper Filings % of Total
Total Filed 20590 12087 59% 8503 41%
Filed Late 3646 18% 1115 9% 2531 30%

Non Filed 685

 

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