Permissibility of the Administration and Use of the Federal Payroll Allocation System by Executive Branch Employees for Contributions to Political Action Committees

Headnotes: 

Federal employees who would offer the use of, or administer, the federal salary-allocation system for allotments to political action committees, would not, without more, violate 18 U.S.C. §§ 602 and 607, or the civil provisions of the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993.

The Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 would prohibit certain high-level and Executive Office employees identified in 5 U.S.C. § 7324(b), the duties and responsibilities of whose positions continue outside normal duty hours and while away from the normal duty post, from using the salaryallocation system to make contributions to political action committees.

The Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 would not prohibit the remainder of federal employees covered by those Amendments from making contributions to political action committees through the salary-allocation system; however, 5 U.S.C. § 7324(a) would expressly prohibit such employees from taking steps to use the salary-allocation system to make such contributions while they are on duty or in a federal building.

While use of the salary-allocation system for contributions to political action committees would be lawful under certain circumstances, the head of each federal agency has the discretion to decide whether to make the system available for that purpose to employees of the agency.

Updated July 31, 2014