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  • Press Release

FEC receives $8.8 million award to modernize agency’s electronic filing system

June 18, 2024

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has received an $8.8 million package from the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), a federal funding vehicle formed to support federal agency IT modernization projects. The award will be used to update and improve the FEC’s free report filing software program used by more than 9,000 federal political committees to meet their campaign finance disclosure requirements.

FECFile, a legacy desktop software originally released in 1997 and updated periodically since then, currently operates exclusively on Windows-based personal computers. The TMF award will help the Commission to transform FECFile into a cloud-based, web-accessible software application for filers that improves data quality, increases flexibility for filing staff, and enhances security for both the reporting committees and the Commission. The resulting program, FECFile Online, will be an open-source product for vendors and state agencies to use in developing their own systems.

“Every year, the Federal Election Commission publishes millions of self-reported transactions from candidates and political committees to ensure transparency and accountability in political campaigns, FEC Chairman Sean J. Cooksey and Commissioner Dara Lindenbaum said in a statement. “With the Technology Modernization Fund’s critical investment to replace outdated reporting software, the FEC can continue to fulfill its disclosure mission for the American public.”

Modernization of the FEC’s electronic filing software is essential for the Commission to manage disclosure of the steeply rising number of transactions federal political committees report each two-year election cycle. That number has climbed from over 31.8 million transactions in the 2007-2008 cycle to a projected 650 million transactions by the end of the 2023-2024 cycle.

Development work on FECFILE Online began in September 2021. The TMF award will allow the work to accelerate, and the project is targeted for completion by 2027. The FEC will receive the funds in increments and will repay half of the original amount of the award over the next five years.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.