Best Practices for FEC Warnings & Errors

As you may have noticed already, not all compliance report errors and warnings are the same. In fact, some of them can be very difficult to discern. Below are some things to keep in mind or attempt if you receive an error or warning you are unsure about.

Unfortunately, errors happen and the FEC system sometimes goes down or errors when accepting a report. First read the error. They're not always clearly written but can have useful information.

If the error is very unspecific, such as "SYSTEM ERROR: SOMETHING WENT WRONG, PLEASE CONTACT ELECTRONIC FILING OFFICE," your best bet is to try filing again. In fact, filing again, is always a great way to go. If you receive "FILING ALREADY IN PROCESS!!!! POSSIBLE DUPLICATE SUBMISSION," that means that they have received your filing.

Another error that may occur when trying to file is "Agency Response: fparse returned with error." This is an internal FEC error directly from the agency. Please try filing again and if you get the possible duplicate message above, your first report was in fact submitted.

If you're still unsure or having trouble, taking a screenshot is always a good idea to demonstrate "best efforts" to file. This will come in handy if you need to have a discussion with folks at the FEC or with us.

Another warning that can sometimes create confusion is a transaction is missing a Compliance Note. This piece of information is more descriptive than a simple Reporting Code and while it is not required, it is very useful in informing an analyst with the filing agency of the intent of the transaction.

And if you're still not sure, send us the error you're getting. We can certainly try to point you in the right direction.

Finally, remember, it can take several hours for reports to show up on the FEC website. If yours doesn't show up by the morning after your attempt, at that point it's worth contacting your analyst with the FEC.