Washington, Jan 25 (Agencies): The White House Office of Political Affairs during the administration of President George W Bush violated the law by giving political briefings to political employees, concludes a government report.

The report says the electoral success of the Republican Party and possible strategies for achieving it often were on the agenda at some of 75 political briefings at 20 federal agencies from 2001 to 2007.

The Office of Special Counsel concluded that such briefings should take place away from the federal workplace during non-business hours and that attendance should be completely optional.

Those who gave the briefings said they were intended to boost morale among political appointees and provide an overview of the "political landscape”.

However, witness testimony, e-mail messages and PowerPoint slides used at some of the briefings indicate that the meetings were more visibly political.

"Because most of the briefings took place during normal business hours and in government buildings, many of the briefings implicated the Hatch Act's prohibition against engaging in political activity while on duty or in a federal workplace," the report found.

The Office of Special Counsel oversees compliance with the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity.

At the Justice Department, spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler declined immediate comment.