Senate Preservation Fund:

Audit of Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012 Transactions

GAO-13-490R: Published: May 1, 2013. Publicly Released: May 1, 2013.

Additional Materials:


J. Lawrence Malenich
(202) 512-9399


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

What GAO Found

For fiscal years 2011 and 2012, the Senate Preservation Fund’s (Fund) recorded transactions consisted of 22 investment and operating transactions. The Fund’s recorded transactions were authorized in advance, supported by documentation, accurately accounted for, and in compliance with the applicable laws that GAO deemed significant to its audit objectives.

GAO also found that the Senate Commission on Art (Commission) had operating and oversight practices for the Fund documented and in place for the receipts, disbursements, investments, and oversight of the Fund. For the same period, the Library of Congress (Library) had operating and reporting practices for the Fund that were documented and in place for Fund receipts, disbursements, investments, and reporting practices.

However, GAO identified two instances where the Library did not execute transactions in accordance with the Commission’s investment directives. In one instance, available funds not needed for immediate disbursement were not invested in a timely manner. In the other instance, while the Library invested funds in U.S. Treasury (Treasury) securities, it did not invest any funds in biweekly Treasury bills as prescribed by the Commission. In March 2013, the Library and the Commission took action to update the Library’s standard operating procedures for investments to include required steps to be performed monthly, including a review of the Fund’s cash balance and notification of the appropriate Library officials if there are any funds available for investment. In addition, the Library updated its standard operating procedures in March 2013 to include the Commission’s instructions for investing funds in biweekly securities.

In commenting on the draft report, the Library’s Chief Financial Officer concurred with the draft report’s findings and conclusions. In addition, the Executive Secretary of the Senate Commission on Art provided oral comments in which she concurred with the draft report’s findings and conclusions.

Why GAO Did This Study

In September 2003, the Fund was established within the Treasury. The Fund is available to the Commission to fund activities related to acquiring works of art, historical objects, documents, and materials relating to historical matters, or exhibits in the Capitol and Senate office buildings. The Library provides financial management and disbursing services and support to the Commission and the Fund. GAO is required to audit the Fund and report the results to the Commission.

GAO’s objectives were to determine whether (1) the Fund’s recorded transactions for fiscal years 2011 and 2012 were authorized in advance, supported by documentation, accurately accounted for, and in compliance with applicable laws and (2) the Commission’s and the Library’s operating, reporting, and oversight practices were documented and in place to provide reasonable assurance that Fund transactions were properly executed and Fund assets were adequately safeguarded.

For more information contact, J. Lawrence Malenich at (202) 512-9399 or

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