Review of the Funding of and the Use of Funds by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year

HRD-77-27: Published: Jan 17, 1977. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 1977.

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Government funds were used by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year to promote the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

In June 1976, P.L. 94-303 was approved, prohibiting the Commission from lobbying. Up until that time, the Commission's lobbying activities on behalf of the Equal Rights Amendment were not illegal. The question of what lobbying activities are prohibited is before the federal courts, which recently enjoined the Commission, during pendency of an appeal, from expending public funds for representations to any legislators, state or federal. For fiscal years 1975 and 1976, six federal agencies, without proper legal authority, provided the Commission with $245,000. An additional $54,860 was provided by the Department of State under sufficient legal authority. Twelve employees costing about $298,974 were detailed to the Commission from nine federal agencies. Only one of the staff assignments was improper. The activities of White House employees intended to promote the ratification of the amendment by the several states did not violate the antilobbying laws.

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