United States ‘GAO General Accounting Washington, Office D.C. 20548 Accounting and Information Management . . Division B-277106 November 26, 1997 The Honorable Alfonse M. D’Amato Chainnan The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes Ranking Minority Member Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs United States Senate The Honorable James A. Leach Chairman The Honorable Henry B. Gonzalez Ranking Minority Member Committee on Banking and Financial Services House of Representatives Subject: Commemorative Coin Progmm: Women in Militarv Service for America Memorial Foundation. Inc. Section 303 of Public Law 103-186 required that we perform a one-time audit of the use of commemorative coin surcharge proceeds received by the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc. The Foundation, incorporated in 1985, constructed the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery to honor women who have served in the armed services. Title II of Public Law 103-186, the United States Veterans Commemorative Coin Act of 1993, provided that the Foundation use the surcharge proceeds from the sale of commemorative coins to create, endow, and dedicate the Memorial. The Foundation plans to manage the Memorial, including adding names to a registry of women who have served in the military. The Foundation also carried out a related project to restore the main gate of Arlington National Cemetery, which is adjacent to the Memorial. GAO/mD-98-38R Women in Military Service B-277106 We determined that the Foundation received about $2,752,000 in surcharge proceeds from the U.S. Mint from Cctober 1994 through April 1996. The Foundation’s financial statements were audited for calendar years 1994 through 1996 by an independent public accounting firm. Those statements showed that the Foundation’s total revenues from all sources were about $18.8 million. The Foundation established a variety of accounts to record its expenses, but was not required to and did not separately account for its use of surcharge proceeds. Instead, the Foundation combined surcharge proceeds with other revenue and charged expenses against the combined revenue account. According to the President of the Foundation, the Foundation spent an estimated $11.3 million through July 1997 to build the Memorial. As a result, neither we nor the Foundation could determine specifically how the Foundation used its surcharge proceeds to create, endow, and dedicate the Memorial. Section 5134 of Title 31, United States Code, as amended by Public Law 104-208, addressed this issue with provisions that now require future coin surcharge recipients to (1) separately account for the receipt and 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.’ In conducting our work, we obtained direct confirmations from the U.S. Mint of the amount of surcharge proceeds transferred to the Foundation. We also reviewed the Foundation’s accounting for the surcharge proceeds, traced to source documents certain transactions related to constructing the Memorial, and verified that certain expenditures were related to the Memorial. We also reviewed minutes of the Board of Director’s meeting 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. She raised no objections to the contents of our report. She agreed that the Foundation was not required to separately account for surcharge proceeds. She added, though, that she was confident that surcharge proceeds were expended for authorized purposes. The Foundation President’s letter is reprinted in the enclosure. Our audit was performed from July 1997 through October 1997 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 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 103186, effective September 30, 1996. 2 GAO/AIMD-98-38R Women in Military Service 106 .,opies 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 ‘-- David L. Clark Director, Audit Oversight and Liaison Enclosure GAO/AJMD-9838R Women in Military Service ENCLOSUIXE ENCLOSURE COMMENTS FROM THE WOMEN IN MILITARY SERVICE FOR AMERICA MEMORIAL FOUNDATION. INC. ._ WOMEN IN MILITARY SERVICE FOR AMERICA MEMORIAL FOUNDr\TION, INC. Dept. 56o firstname.lastname@example.org Washington,DC 2oo42-0560 http://=wimsa.org (703) 5331155 (800) 222-2294 (703) 9314208 FAX November 19, 1997 Mr. Gene L. Dodaro Assistant Comptroller General U. S. General Accounting OiXce 441 G St. NW Washington. DC 20548 Sub]: Draft Report on Women In Military Setice For America Memorial Foundation Use of Commemorative Coin Proceeds Dear Mr. Dodaro. Thank you very much for providing a copy of your draft reporl for our review and comment. As stated in your report, the Foundation was not required to separately account for our use of surcharge proceeds. At the time we began to receive the proceeds of the sale. we discussed establishing a separate account to record revenue and to show expenses paid with those monies. Because of the addilional workload required to do this, and since there was no requirement Lo do so. we elected not to do il. The fact that we spent $11.3 million through July 1997. have continued to spend for the construction and successful dedication of the Memorial on October 18th. should be evidence in itself that all funds received from the United States Minl from sale of the Commemorative Coins were used for the purposes intended by Public Law 103- 186 -- and as I am totaily confident they were. Sincerely. Brigadier General. USAF. Ret President , (911747) 4 GAO/AIMD-98-38R Women in Military Service Ordering Information The first copy of each GAO report and testimony is free. Additional copies are $2 each. 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Commemorative Coin Program: Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc.
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-11-26.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)