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Policy and other guidance

Beyond regulations and advisory opinions, the Commission issues policy statements and interpretive rules when necessary to provide additional guidance on certain campaign finance law topics to federal campaigns, political committees, and individuals. The Commission sometimes seeks public comments on these proposed guidance documents before finalizing them.

The Commission also occasionally provides guidance in other formats, such as selected press releases. Additionally, the Commission has adopted internal rules and procedures for handling compliance, enforcement and other cases.

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Policy statements

Commission action in matters at the initial stage in the enforcement process (2024)

Policy Statement (March 20, 2024)

Program for requesting consideration of legal questions by the Commission (2011; Revised 2013, 2016, 2019 and 2023)

(For exclusive use by persons and entities that have been asked to take corrective action by the Reports Analysis Division or the Audit Division.)

Disclosure of certain documents in enforcement, administrative fine, alternative dispute resolution cases and administrative matters (2016)

Policy Statement (August 2, 2016)

Procedures for the audit process and for legal guidance (2010)

Policy Statement Establishing a Pilot Program for Requesting Consideration of Legal Questions by the Commission (July 20, 2010)

Placing First General Counsel's Reports on the public record (2009)

Policy Statement Regarding Placing First General Counsel's Reports on the Public Record (December 14, 2009)

Safe harbor for misreporting due to embezzlement (2007)

Policy Statement (April 5, 2007)

Self reporting of campaign finance violations (sua sponte submissions) (2007)

Policy Statement (April 5, 2007)

Purpose of disbursement entries (2007)

Policy Statement: Purpose of Disbursement Entries for Filing with the Commission (January 9, 2007)

Recordkeeping requirements for payroll deduction authorizations (2006)

Policy Statement (July 7, 2006)

Naming of treasurers in enforcement matters (2005)

Policy Statement (January 3, 2005)

Deposition transcriptions in nonpublic investigations (2003)

Policy Statement (August 22, 2003)

Interpretive rules

Date of political party nominations of candidates for special primary elections in New York (2013)

Notice of Interpretive Rule (December 16, 2013)

Reporting ultimate payees of political committee disbursements (2013)

Notice of Interpretive Rule (July 8, 2013)

When certain independent expenditures are considered "publicly disseminated" for reporting purposes (2011)

Notice of Interpretive Rule (October 4, 2011)

Electronic contributor redesignations (2011)

Notice of Interpretive Rule (March 23, 2011)

To the extent that this interpretive rule’s approach to a ‘‘signature’’ could be construed to conflict with the new definition of ‘‘signature’’ in Final Rule on Technological Modernization, 89 FR 196 (January 2, 2024), it is superseded.

Allocation of candidate travel expenses (2002)

Notice of Interpretation (February 6, 2002)

Rules of agency organization, procedure or practice

Investigations conducted by the General Counsel (2023)

Litigation brought pursuant to 52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(8) (2023)

Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and Department of Justice (2023)

Memorandum of Understanding between FEC and DOJ (April 19, 2023)

Agency procedure concerning the treatment of foreign state respondents at the initiation of the enforcement process (2022)

Notice of Agency Procedure (March 3, 2022)

Agency procedure following the submission of probable cause briefs by the Office of the General Counsel (2011)

Notice of Agency Procedure (October 13, 2011)

Agency procedure for disclosure of documents and information in the enforcement process (2011)

Notice of Agency Procedure (June 15, 2011)

Amendment of agency procedures for probable cause hearings (2009)

Notice of Amendment of Agency Procedures (October 28, 2009)

Agency procedure for notice to potential respondents in enforcement matters (2009)

Notice of Amendment of Agency Procedures (August 4, 2009)

Procedural rules for audit hearings (2009)

Notice of Procedural Rules for Audit Hearings, 74 Fed. Reg. 33140 (July 10, 2009)


Closing the file at the initial stage in the enforcement process (2021)

Vote on Draft Statement of Policy (April 22, 2021)

Draft interpretive rule on paying for cybersecurity using party segregated account (2019)

Proposal to rescind Advisory Opinion 2006-15 (TransCanada) (2016)

Reporting nationwide independent expenditures in presidential primary elections (2015)

Enforcement process (2013)

Agency procedure for notice to named respondents of additional material facts or additional potential violations

Agency procedures and policies (2009)

(Note: Completed proposals are listed in the Agency procedures section.)

Public hearing, January 14-15, 2009, including:

  • Complete record
  • Hearing transcript
  • Schedule of witnesses for public hearing
  • Comments received
  • Notice of public hearing and request for comments