Policies and Practices on the Use of Federal and Private Funds, National Gallery of Art

GGD-78-26: Published: Dec 22, 1977. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 1977.

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The National Gallery of Art's policies governing the use of federal and private funds are based on federal legislation and a trust agreement which together established the National Gallery of Art. Although formally established as a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery functions as an autonomous and separately administered organization. Federal funds are committed for operation, administration, and maintenance of the Gallery and, under the Mellon Trust, surplus trust income is available for extraordinary upkeep and operating expenses to the extent that federal funds are unavilable. Private trust funds are used for building construction costs, compensation of certain executive officers, acquisitions of works of art, and free concerts.

All works of art in the Gallery's collections have been given or bequeathed to it or purchased with the proceeds of gifts. An analysis of the use of private and federal funds in fiscal year (FY) 1976 and the transition quarter showed that for most expenditures there were clear-cut distinctions as to which funds were used. For those classes of expenditures where both federal and private funds were used, there were reasonable criteria for deciding which funds to expend. During this period, the Gallery disbursed $689,000 in private administrative and operating funds, 54 percent of which was for administration of the trust and compensation of executive officers. In FY 1976, including the transition quarter, and in 1977 and 1978, Congress appropriated for the National Gallery $9.8 million, $12.7 million, and $14.5 million, respectively. The Gallery's policies on the use of funds were consistent with authorizing legislation and the trust agreement, and its practices conformed to these policies.

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