The FEC is in full agreement on this: It wants to make its auditing process easier for candidates, committees and state parties to comply with without having to engage a high-priced attorney or compliance firm.
On May 4th, it passed by a 6-0 margin a new audit process for PACs that don’t receive public funds while at the same time revising other audit procedures.
During C&E’s CampaignTech East conference last week at the MGM National Harbor, Commissioners Shana M. Broussard and James E. “Trey” Trainor III weighed in on the new process. Broussard emphasized that if the committee, candidate or party is being audited and they’re in “substantial compliance” then it should be an easier process for them to complete.
The new auditing process has “definitely” made it “easier for people to access the information,” Broussard said.
Trainor, who published a comment May 4 about the new procedures, called it a “watershed moment” for the FEC in terms of how it handles audits.
“We took steps yesterday to really streamline that process, eliminate a lot of the reporting that’s done,” he said May 5th.
“Now I think you’re going to see very targeted audits that come out of mis-reportings or things that show up in [FEC] reports that trigger questions — now there will be a very limited scope in what we’ll see in those audits and they’ll be limited request for information related to those.”
One of the key elements, he added, is “if there is voluntary compliance of the candidates or the committees or the state parties with the recommendations that the audit division makes, then the commission is now going to take [that] into consideration” as it relates to fines.