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Restoration of the Statue of Liberty National Monument

Published: Apr 22, 1986. Publicly Released: Apr 22, 1986.
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Testimony was given concerning the restoration of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, specifically whether: (1) the project has met its restoration and fundraising goals; and (2) the Department of the Interior has monitored and maintained oversight of the project. GAO found that: (1) the effort to restore the Statue of Liberty and parts of Ellis Island is exceeding original fundraising and restoration goals; (2) Interior has monitored and maintained oversight of the project; (3) although the amounts of money raised and the different types of fundraising campaigns differed from the goals that the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation originally established, the Foundation has received cash, pledges and commitments for $255 million of the $265 million it hoped to raise; (4) merchandising programs which include commemorative coin, book, and stamp sales account for 17 percent of the firm commitments; (5) although Interior originally estimated that restoration would cost $103 million, the project was subsequently expanded and the total went up to $250 million; (6) despite the increase in exhibit costs, Interior cut $20 million in celebration and public awareness costs when it dropped plans for a Fourth of July celebration around the country; and (7) as of February 1986, actual expenditures amounted to about 46 percent of the $265 million budgeted for the project. GAO also found that: (1) although the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Centennial Commission was appointed to provide advice and guidance on the restoration effort, it has done very little; (2) the Foundation has prepared and published annual financial reports that list sources of funds and how they were spent; (3) although there were two instances where the Foundation did not submit promotional materials for Interior review, it subsequently took corrective action; and (4) even though the Foundation submitted its initial plan of operations a month late and lacked required information on administrative support structures, timetables for the first 3 years, and projected staffing costs, the delay and lack of information did not affect Interior's ability to monitor the restoration effort.

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