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Rebuilding a data file

To rebuild a .dcf file or compile lost data using previously upload reports, follow these steps to use the importing function in FECFile:

  1. Go to campaign finance data

  2. Enter the Committee ID and click search. Select the committee name.  Click Filings for a list of reports.

  3. Locate the reports necessary. Then click on the Download link for each of the corresponding report(s).

    For unauthorized filers, necessary reports are those in the current year to date, to provide proper aggregation totals.

    For authorized filers, necessary reports are those in the current election cycle to date for proper aggregation totals. If the report being downloaded has amendments, then the latest amendment must be downloaded only. This will prevent importing duplicate transactions.

    If the report being downloaded is version 5.3 then save the report to the hard drive. If the report being downloaded is version 6.0 or greater, an option screen will open. The screen provides the ability to download the file in the new ASCII 28 delimited format, or the same filing delimited with commas. Version 6.0+ must be downloaded in ASCII 28 format only. This will assure proper handling of the newer filings.

  4. Once the report is selected for download, a pop-up window should appear prompting to save to a disk or computer (depending on the operating system). Click Save.

  5. The next pop-up window should be a Save As window. In the "Save In" field, make sure the desktop is selected. In the File Name field enter the type of report downloading (for example, Q2_2002_import.fec) and click Save.

  6. Once complete, click Close and go to the desktop by minimizing all active windows. If the checkbox "Always use selected program to open this kind of file" is checked, then the next .fec file can be opened by just double clicking on the file.

  7. Open FECFile. You can now use FECFile to import the downloaded reports. It is a good practice to process each report individually, from oldest to newest.

  8. Create a report to be imported (MY, YE, Q2, etc.).

  9. With the REPORT highlighted, select Import Transactions from the TOOLS menu.

  10. Select the import file (from step 6) in the dialog box, which should be located on the desktop. START: Click start on the next dialog screen. The only importable transactions are Schedule A, B and H4s. All other transactions will need to be entered into FECFile manually. Also, since unitemized transactions are not sent to the FEC, these will also have to be entered in manually. After recovery is complete and the reports are reflecting the correct totals, the original reports should be uploaded to the hard drive (which can be erased). This simulates that they have been uploaded to the FEC. In the case of amendments: Once the original is uploaded to the hard drive, the report needs to be amended and uploaded again to the hard drive. Repeat this step until the amendment status of the report reflects the same number of amendments posted on the FEC website. This will prevent future errors when uploading amendments.

Uploading to the hard drive

  1. With the report highlighted in the Reports window, click Upload on the menu bar.

  2. When the Settings dialog box appears, select Disk as the Filing Method and click on the Configure tab.

  3. The path and filename need to be entered into the Disk File field. For easy removal, the recommended path is the desktop. The LOGIN NAME is the username used to login to computer and or network. Based on the Operating System (OS), the complete path name will vary. The paths should be as follows:  

    Windows 7, Vista 
    or XP: C:\users\’LOGIN NAME’\desktop\deleteme.fec

    Windows NT
    : C:\wnnt\profiles\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec

    Windows 2000
    and XP: C:\documents and settings\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec

    Windows Vistas
    : C:\users\'LOGIN NAME'\desktop\deleteme.fec.

  4. Once the path and filename have been entered, click the Submit Filing to FEC button to begin the upload.

  5. If the path is invalid, the upload will fail.

  6. If the file name is unique and the path is valid, the upload will succeed.

  7. At the Successfully uploaded the report window, click OK.

  8. If the Save option is available in the File menu (not grayed out), click it to save the uploaded changes.