Audit of the United States Capitol Historical Society for the Year Ended January 31, 1978

GGD-79-2: Published: Dec 5, 1978. Publicly Released: Dec 5, 1978.

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The United States Capitol Historical Society is a nonprofit organization composed of a board of trustees, an honorary board of trustees, officers, and paid employees. It operates the Capitol Vistor Center under contract with the Architect of the Capitol. Its daily operations are carried out by three departments--sales, administrative and accounting, and history. Two funds are maintained to record the income and expenses for the Society's operations--the History Endowment Fund and the General Fund. Income to the General Fund is primarily from sales of merchandise, and other sources of income include royalties, interest from investments, and contributions.

The fund balance of the History Endowment Fund at January 31, 1978, was $474,913. Unrecorded assets of the General Fund included a film which will yield royalties, a cultured pearl replica of the Capitol, and an old grandfather clock. Possible sales tax liabilities for the General Fund could result from the sale of articles for which no sales tax was paid. Active Society projects include renovation and artwork in the Capitol and a bicentennial medals program. Inactive projects include the Sound and Light Program which is awaiting approval of a Senate commission and portraits of congressional officials for which contributed funds are being held pending arrangements. Financial statements prepared by GAO were the same as those prepared for the Society by its accountants except for some reclassification of accounts and adjustments for accrued interest on investments. The income and expense statement did not include the cost of certain benefits and services furnished to the Society without charge. Subject to adjustments which may result from determinationn of liability for sales tax, the statements presented fairly the financial position of the Society at January 31, 1978, the results of its operations, and the changes in its financial position.

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