The Treasurer of the United States requested a decision regarding the United States Mint's authority to use coinage profit funds to pay for: (1) media events and receptions; (2) occasional coin gifts at public events for promotional purposes; (3) medal or coin gifts to customers whose orders the Mint mishandled; and (4) business cards for sales representatives. GAO held that the first three costs were allowable, since: (1) they were necessary to fulfill the statutory responsibilities of the United States Treasury; (2) a reasonable nexus existed between the costs and a marketing benefit for the coin sales program; and (3) the costs were recovered from sales proceeds. GAO also held that using coinage profit funds for business cards was not allowable, since business card costs constituted personal expenses. Accordingly, the Mint may use coinage profit funds to pay for media events and receptions and coin gifts for promotional or goodwill reasons, but not for business cards.
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