Jefferson's Poplar Forest Commemorative Coin Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-07-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
      General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Accounting and Information
      Management Division


      July 18, 1997

      The Honorable Alfonse M. D’Amato
      The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
      United States Senate

      The Honorable James A. Leach
      The Honorable Henry B. Gonzalez
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Banking and Financial Services
      House of Representatives

      Subject:    Jefferson’s Poplar   Forest Commemorative   Coin Program

      Section 303 of Public Law 103-186 required us to audit the use of
      commemorative coin surcharge proceeds received by the Corporation for
      Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. The Corporation owns and operates Poplar Forest,
      President Thomas Jefferson’s former home in Bedford County, Virginia. Title I
      of Public Law 103-186, the Jefferson Commemorative Coin Act of 1993, provided
      that the Corporation use the surcharge proceeds from the sale of
      commemorative coins to restore and maintain Poplar Forest.

      We determined that the Corporation received about $998,000 in final coin
      surcharge proceeds from the U. S. Mint in 1994 and established an endowment
      consisting of invested surcharge proceeds and related earnings in November
      1995. The purpose of the endowment is to provide financial resources to
      restore and maintain Poplar Forest. As of April 1997, the Corporation had not
      made any expenditures from the endowment, other than related investment
      fees. The endowment balance as of April 1997 was about $1.3 mi?lion.

      Section 5134 of Title 31, United States Code, as amended by Public Law 104-208,
      now requires future coin surcharge recipients to (1) separately account for the
      expenditure of coin surcharge proceeds and (2) obtain annual financial audits

                                                      GAO/AIMD-97-118R       Poplar Forest


by an independent public accounting i5rn.1 until all surcharge proceeds are
expended or placed in trust.’

In conducting our work, we obtained direct confirmation from the U.S. Mint of
the amounts of surcharge proceeds transferred to the Corporation.     We traced
those amounts to the Corporation’s bank statements and accounting records,
reviewed the Corporation’s accounting for the surcharge proceeds, traced
selected transactions to source documents, and verified the endowment balance
as of April 1997. We also reviewed minutes of the Board of Directors’ meetings
related to surcharge proceeds. At the conclusion of our work, we provided a
draft of this letter to the Executive Director of the Corporation and she had no
comments. Our audit was performed from February to May 1997 in accordance
with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Copies of this letter are being sent to interested parties and will be made
available to others on request. Please contact me at (202) 512-9489 if you or
your staffs have any questions about this letter.

David L. Clark
Director, Audit Oversight
 and Liaison

                                                                                   i -..


‘Section 529 of the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government
Appropriations Act, 1997, as enacted by Section 101(f) of Public Law 104-208,
the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, repealed section 303 of
Public Law 103-186, effective September 30, 1996.

 2                                             GAO/AT&ID-97-1 18R Poplar Forest

    Ordering    Information

    The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free.
    Additional  copies are $2 each. Orders should be sent to the
    following address, accompanied by a check or money order
    made out to the Superintendent    of Documents, when
    necessary. VISA and Mastercard     credit cards are accepted, also.
    Orders for 100 or more copies to be mailed to a single address
    are discounted 25 percent.

    Orders by mail:

    U.S. General Accounting Office
    P.O. Box 6015
    Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015

    or visit:

    Room 1100
    700 4th St. NW (corner of 4th and G Sts. NW)
    U.S. General Accounting Office
    Washington, DC

    Orders may also be placed by calling (202) 512-6000
    or by using fax number (301) 258-4066, or TDD (301) 413-0006.

    Each day, GAO issues a list of newly available reports and
    testimony.   To receive facsimile copies of the daily list or any
    list from the past 30 days, please call (202) 512-6000 using a
    touchtone phone. A recorded menu will provide information         on
    how to obtain these lists.

    For information on how to access GAO reports on the INTERNET,
    send an e-mail message with “info” in the body to:


    or visit GAO’s World Wide Web Home Page at:

United States
General Accounting   Office
Washington, D.C.- 20548-0001

Official   Business
Penalty    for Private   Use $300

Address    Correction    Reauested