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Highlights

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) operates presidential libraries for all of the former U.S. presidents since Herbert Hoover. These libraries received over 2.4 million visits in 2009, including researchers, public program attendees, and museum visitors. Each library is associated with a private foundation, which raised the funds to build the library and then turned the library facility over to the federal government. These foundations typically have ongoing relationships with the libraries they built, and some of these library-foundation relationships involve sharing of staff and facilities. Per congressional request, this report describes the principal laws, regulations, and NARA policies that govern library-foundation relationships and the appropriate use of library facilities and staff. GAO reviewed specific laws governing presidential libraries, and NARA regulations and policies. We also reviewed applicable laws and regulations governing activities held on government property and acceptable activities of federal employees. Further, we interviewed relevant NARA officials. NARA reviewed a draft of this report and had no substantive comments. NARA made technical suggestions which we incorporated as appropriate. GAO is not making any recommendations in this report.

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