Smithsonian Institution's Banking Practices for Private Funds

GGD-77-67: Published: Sep 20, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 20, 1977.

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The Smithsonian Institution maintained 41 accounts in financial institutions and the United States Treasury. Most of these were small checking accounts used to pay expenses at Smithsonian locations outside the District of Columbia. The use of five principal accounts was reviewed, two at the American Security and Trust Company, two at the Riggs National Bank, and a deposit suspense account in the United States Treasury.

The Smithsonian Institution has adopted adequate procedures for the management of cash in its private funds. It strives to maintain only sufficient funds in its two principal non-interest-bearing checking accounts to pay the payroll checks and other checks presented for payment each day. Through the use of repurchase agreements, a savings account, and short-term investments, the Smithsonian attempts to earn interest on any funds not needed immediately to pay its expenses. However, during the period January through April, 1977, it made no attempt to earn interest on the American Security and Trust checking account float. The Smithsonian keeps separate accounting records for the Smithsonian Research Foundation.

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