Federal Election Commission

Office of Inspector General -- Semiannual Report

Period ending March 31, 2001

If you require the entire printed version of this report, contact the Office of Inspector General, Federal Election Commission, 1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20463 or call Dorothy Maddox-Holland, Special Assistant, phone: (202) 694-1015, fax: (202) 501-8134, or e-mail: oig@fec.gov.

Executive Summary

This report is submitted pursuant to the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended.  This Executive Summary provides a brief synopsis of accomplishments and general activities pertaining to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the period October 1, 2000 through March 31, 2001.

During this semiannual reporting period, the Office of Inspector General continued to work on the audit entitled, Procurement Operations (OIG-00-03). The primary objectives of this audit are to 1) determine whether or not the FEC has an efficient and effective procurement system in place; and 2) determine whether the FEC’s procurement process complies with statutory and regulatory requirements.  The audit is being conducted to see if the Commission has implemented the key acquisition reforms contained in the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994.

In order to achieve the audit objectives, steps taken to complete the audit have included reviewing records and selecting the audit sample.  Additional information regarding this audit is located on page 10, the Audit section of this report.

The Office of Inspector General released one follow-up report during this reporting period.  The original audit report entitled, Review of Commission’s Employee Appraisal Process (OIG-97-02), was released January, 1998.  The primary objectives of the audit were to 1) determine whether the Commission’s Employee Appraisal Process was in compliance with applicable Federal regulations and Commission Personnel instructions; and 2) determine whether the Commission’s monetary incentive process was in compliance with applicable Federal regulations and Commission Personnel instructions.  The original report contained four audit recommendations.   Three recommendations have been closed during previous reporting periods.

After completion of the follow-up work, the OIG determined that the Personnel Office has taken sufficient steps to address the weaknesses identified in our audit report.   All four recommendations have been addressed by management and are now closed.   The Audit Follow-up section, located on page 12, contains further information regarding this report.

During this reporting period, the OIG began work on three inspections.  The first one entitled, Inspection of the Commission’s Web Site Privacy Practices (OIG-01-02), was in response to a statutory requirement with regards to Section 646 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act 2001, which requires each Federal Inspector General to report to Congress on Agency practices/policies with respect to personally identifiable information collected via the agencies’ Web site.

Actions taken to assist in completing the inspection include meeting with FEC management and conducting tests to determine whether the FEC’s Web site uses Internet cookies or Web bugs.  Significant information pertaining to this inspection is located on page 15, the Inspections section of this report.

The second inspection entitled, Inspection of the Commission’s Compliance with the Federal Managers Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) of 1982 (OIG-01-03), is being conducted to determine whether or not the FEC is in compliance with the FMFIA Act of 1982.

An inspection guide was developed using information obtained during the research phase of the inspection.  Meetings were conducted with the FMFIA program manager, who is responsible for preparing the annual assurance statement to the President.   Information received from management has been reviewed and analyzed. Further details regarding this inspection can be found on page 16, the section entitled Inspections.

The OIG is also conducting an inspection of the FEC’s Westlaw Service entitled Inspection of the Commission’s Westlaw Database Service (OIG-01-05). The Westlaw service provides commission staff with on-line research information and is administered by the FEC library.  Located on page 18, the Inspections section of this report, is more information relating to this topic.

Listed below are highlights of additional activities conducted by the Office of Inspector General during this reporting period. Items are described in greater detail, starting on page 20, the section entitled Additional Office of Inspector General Activity.

Our response indicated that the OIG did not have any significant instances where the FEC has overpaid or has not been credited properly on a contract for goods or services within the past three to five years.

A staff member responded to the inquiries with a brief reply that stated their correspondence had been forwarded to the FEC’s Office of Election Administration.