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Audit Audit of the State Election Campaign Fund—Office of Campaign and Political Finance

The State Election Campaign Fund was created to provide public financing for candidates seeking statewide offices. This audit examined the period of January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: April 1, 2019

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 42C of Chapter 10 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted an audit of the State Election Campaign Fund (SECF) accounts and transactions for the 2018 statewide election.1 The SECF provides limited public financing to eligible candidates seeking statewide elective offices. Its main funding source is voluntary taxpayer check-off contributions on state income tax returns. The Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF) is responsible for certifying qualifying candidates and disbursing amounts from the fund based on state laws and regulations.2 The objective of our audit was to determine whether the fund’s accounting records were accurate and up to date; whether its disbursements were issued in compliance with fund regulations, including those regarding certification of candidates and amounts by OCPF, and were properly recorded; and whether the required candidate forms for the statewide election and SECF funding were properly filed and complete.

Below is a summary of our finding, with a link to the page listed.

Finding 1
 

Our previous audit finding regarding an inaccurate SECF balance has been resolved.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the State Election Campaign Fund - Office of Campaign and Political Financ is available here.

 

1.    Generally accepted government auditing standards require that audit organizations be free from organizational impairments to independence with respect to the entities they audit. For this reason, the accounts and transactions of candidates for State Auditor were not a subject of our review. However, in accordance with Section 42C of Chapter 10 of the General Laws, a post-audit of those accounts and transactions was conducted by the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth, an independent governing body. On February 4, 2019, the Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth issued a letter to the director of OCPF regarding its post-audit of activity in the SECF regarding candidates for State Auditor for the 2018 primary and general elections. This letter stated that no funds had been made available to any candidates for State Auditor, that no payments had been made from state funds to any State Auditor candidate accounts, and that no areas of noncompliance had been identified.

2.    Chapter 55C of the General Laws states that candidates for statewide elective office who agree to abide by certain statutory expenditure limits and who submit qualified contributions in the minimum amounts established by law are eligible for limited public financing. This law also regulates the distribution; accounting; and, in certain cases, repayment of public funds by candidates. Section 4 of Title 970 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations governs certain procedures a candidate must follow to have their name appear on the ballot and to qualify for public funds.

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