Investigation of Activities of Consumer Affairs Offices for Possible Violations of Anti-Lobbying Statutes
B-129874, Sep 11, 1978
Congress requested that GAO investigate the activities of the Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs and the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA), Department of Health, Education and Welfare, during the Spring of 1977, for possible violations of Federal anti-lobbying statutes in connection with their efforts to obtain enactment of legislation to establish a Consumer Protection Agency.
GAO found that, in sum, many of the activities proposed in the OCA memos, if carried out as originally intended, would have been illegal. However, the staff was made aware of pertinent legal restrictions and apparently modified its activity accordingly. GAO found no evidence that either the OCA or the Special Assistant used appropriated funds to urge the public to contact members of Congress in support of the bill. GAO also found that there may have been a few isolated instances where public funds were used to provide assistance to private lobbying organizations, but the amounts improperly expended would be slight. With these possible exceptions, it does not appear that the Federal anti-lobbying statutes were violated.