In the second highly critical audit of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance this summer, D.C. Auditor Otis H. Troupe has scolded Keith A. Vance, the office's director, for allegedly lax personnel practices that include the hiring of consultants for work that was never completed.

Troupe concluded that Vance has engaged in "questionable personnel practices" by hiring and overpaying unqualified workers to fill positions within his department, according to a draft copy of the 31-page report obtained by The Washington Post,

Vance responded yesterday with a sharply worded, 14-page letter to Troupe in which he called the audit "unprofessional, nebulous" and "clearly biased."

Troupe's investigation was undertaken at the request of D.C. Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), who has been the subject of several Vance inquiries into whether she has complied with campaign finance laws.

Last month, in an initial response to Jarvis' request, Troupe criticized Vance's office as "an entity without accountability to any higher authority" that "circumvented District procurement policies" in obtaining goods and services.

In the latest report, Vance was criticized for a series of alleged discrepancies in his office personnel policies, ranging from the hiring of unqualified computer specialists to allowing employes to list false addresses to meet the residency requirement for city employes.

The auditors who examined the campaign finance office were not objective in their investigation, Vance said, and were "grasping for findings" of irregularities "not supported by factual information discovered during the conduct of the Office of the D.C. Auditor's audit."

Vance said that the evidence gathered from his office by Troupe's staff was too incomplete to support the findings subsequently made in the draft audit.

"The auditor's findings indicate that some employes were not qualified for the positions they were promoted to," Vance wrote. "The {campaign finance office} contends that any such promotions were based upon verifiable extensive training . . . thereby qualifying them for promotion."

Vance also denied that his employes are in violation of the D.C. residency requirement, saying that Troupe chose to ignore evidence to the contrary. Consultants hired by his office, he also asserted, were employed properly and completed the work for which they were retained.

Troupe yesterday defended his findings as "fact-based."

Vance has accused Jarvis of political motivations in requesting the audit, which he said was biased to reflect her long-running feud with the campaign finance office. Jarvis, in turn, has said she will ask Mayor Marion Barry to dismiss Vance.