Federal Election Commission staff today traveled to Capitol Hill and briefed congressional officials investigating the beleaguered agency on how it intends to address recent computer security and staffing problems, officials from both government bodies confirmed. The FEC’s contingent was led by Alec Palmer, who doubles as the agency’s staff and information technology director. It wasn’t immediately clear how many congressional officials participated in the meetings, although a spokesman for Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., confirmed to the Center for Public Integrity that his office participated. Brady, along with Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., last week called for separate inquiries into the FEC’s recent woes, which include an October infiltrationinto its computer systems by Chinese hackers. Brady is the ranking member on the Committee on House Administration, which has FEC oversight powers.
Across Washington, D.C., at today’s first public FEC meeting of the year, newly installed Chairman Lee Goodman, a Republican, opened proceedings by delivering a prepared statement during which he called for several agency reforms.
Among his stated aspirations: a “new information technology system to improve the functionality and security of our IT” and a concerted effort to “rebuild the Reports Analysis Division and catch up on a backlog of disclosure report reviews.” He also vowed to “enhance” the agency’s website with “better, clearer access to the campaign finance data we collect.”