American Battle Monuments Commission:

World War II Memorial Fund Audit for Fiscal Years 1995 and 1996

AIMD-97-68R: Published: Mar 31, 1997. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1997.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO audited the revenues and expenditures of the American Battle Monuments Commission's World War II memorial fund for the fiscal years ended September 30, 1995 and 1996.

GAO noted that: (1) for the fiscal year (FY) ended September 30, 1995, GAO determined that the fund had revenues of $0.3 million and expenditures of $0.5 million; (2) for FY ended September 30, 1996, GAO determined that the fund had revenues of $5.4 million and expenditures of $1.0 million; (3) the fund recognizes revenue when it is received and expenditures when they are disbursed, except for investment revenue, which, beginning with FY 1995, is recognized when earned; (4) the memorial fund consists of a Department of Defense (DOD) contribution, surcharge proceeds from the sale of World War II commemorative coins, private contributions, and investment interest; (5) DOD's $5 million contribution, together with coin surcharge proceeds, accounted for $9.8 million of the $10.6 million in total revenue; (6) memorial design, personnel compensation and benefits, and consultant services account for $1.4 million of the $1.6 million in total expenditures; (7) in December 1995, GAO reported that the Commission had not established a separate account in the U.S. Treasury for the memorial fund, as required by the Memorial Act; (8) a separate account would strengthen the fund's accountability by reducing the risk from commingling memorial fund revenue with other Commission revenue; (9) at the time of GAO's prior audit, Commission officials informed GAO that they had initiated action to establish a separate Treasury account for the memorial fund; (10) after subsequent discussion, Commission and Treasury officials decided, and GAO concurs, that separate accountability has now been achieved by having all transactions for the memorial fund and the Commission's three other trust accounts contain a suffix code in order to be processed at Treasury; (11) additionally, the totals for each of the four accounts are reconciled monthly by the Commission to agree to the amount contained within its Treasury trust fund; (12) GAO also reported in December 1995 that the Commission needed to improve its computer controls to ensure that access to computer programs and sensitive data is restricted to prevent unauthorized changes and disclosures; and (13) during FY 1996, the Commission took steps that improved its computer controls by: (a) restricting physical access to the Commission's computers to authorized personnel; (b) limiting user access to read-only capability, except in areas where individuals are authorized to work; and (c) requiring staff to sign off the computer system when away from their desks.

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