The Office of Campaign Finance proposed amendments to the regulations of the Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) which were adopted by the Board of Elections and Ethics on October 13, 2011, at its regularly scheduled Board meeting. The Notices of Proposed Rulemaking were published in the D.C. Register on October 28, 2011, Volume 58. The period for public comment expires on or about November 28, 2011. Comments should be filed with the Office of the General Counsel, Board of Elections and Ethics, 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 270N, Washington, DC 20001.
The proposed amendments will require political committees supporting a candidate or candidates in the primary election conducted by the Board of Elections and Ethics in April of any calendar year, to file Reports of Receipts and Expenditures (OCF Form 16) in the seven months preceding the date on which the election is held for the office the candidate is seeking (3 DCMR, Chapter 30, “Campaign Finance Operations”); and will require the payment of annual registration fees by each person who registers as a lobbyist (3 DCMR, Chapter 31, “Lobbying”). In addition, the proposed amendments will clarify the investigative procedures of the Office of Campaign Finance (3 DCMR, Chapter 37, “Investigations and Hearings”) to, amongst other things, enable OCF to issue subpoenas where an individual fails to timely submit reports or answers during an investigation; establish fines for the failure to register as a lobbyist; expressly specify the authority of the Director to impose civil penalties in the disposition of full investigations; and waive for good cause shown the seven day notice required for the scheduling of hearings.