Jefferson Memorial Foundation 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
GAO   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 Memorial Foundation Commemorative      Coin Program

      Section 303 of Public Law 103-186 required us to audit the use of
      commemorative coin surcharge proceeds received by the Thomas Jefferson
      Memorial Foundation, Inc. The Foundation owns and operates Monticello,
      President Thomas Jefferson’s former home near Charlottesville, Virginia. The
      Foundation also operates the International Center for Jefferson Studies to
      conduct research on Jefferson’s life. Title I of Public Law 103-186, the Jefferson
      Commemorative Coin Act of 1993, provided that the Foundation use the
      surcharge proceeds from the sale of commemorative coins to establish an
      endowment to support Monticello and its historic furnishings and educational
      programs, including the International Center for Jefferson Studies.

      We determined that the Foundation received $5 million in final coin surcharge
      proceeds from the U. S. Mint in June 1994 and placed the surcharge proceeds
      and related investment earnings into an endowment in December 1994. The
      purpose of the endowment is to support the Foundation’s efforts to restore and
      preserve Monticello and its related educational programs. As of December
      1996, the Foundation had not made any expenditures from the endowment,
      other than investment management fees. The endowment balance as of April
      1997 was about $7.6 million.

                                   GAO/AI&ID-97-1 19R Jefferson Memorial Foundation

Section 5134 of Title 31, United States Code, as amended by Public Law 104208,
now requires future coin surcharge recipients to (1) separately account for the
expenditure of coin surcharge proceeds and (2) obtain annual financial audits
by an independent public accounting firm until all surcharge proceeds are
expended or placed in trust.’

Zn conducting our work, we obtained direct confirmations from the U.S. Mint of
the amounts of surcharge proceeds transferred to the Foundation. We traced
those amounts to Foundation bank statements and accounting records,
reviewed the Foundation’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 Foundation’s Board of
Directors’ meetings related to surcharge proceeds. At the conclusion of our
work, we provided a draft of this letter to the President of the Foundation for
comment and he 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


Section 529 of the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government
Appropriations Act, 1997, as enacted by Section 101(f) of Public Law 104208,
the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act, 1997, repealed section 303 of
Public Law 103-186, effective September 30, 1996.

 2                           GAO/NMD-97-119R      Jefferson Memorial Foundation
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