Financial Management: DOD Needs to Clarify Its General Gift Fund Policies to Provide for Effective Oversight

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Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2008, the military services received about $295 million in monetary and nonmonetary gifts from individuals and organizations wishing to donate gifts to the Department of Defense (DOD). Section 2601(a) of Title 10, U.S. Code is a long-standing authority under which the secretaries overseeing DOD, the military services, and the Coast Guard may accept a gift on the condition that the gift be used for the benefit of or in connection with the establishment, operation, or maintenance of schools, hospitals, libraries, museums, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 27, 2009.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "From fiscal year 2005 through fiscal year 2008, the military services received about $295 million in monetary and nonmonetary gifts from individuals and organizations wishing to donate gifts to the Department of Defense (DOD). Section 2601(a) of Title 10, U.S. Code is a long-standing authority under which the secretaries overseeing DOD, the military services, and the Coast Guard may accept a gift on the condition that the gift be used for the benefit of or in connection with the establishment, operation, or maintenance of schools, hospitals, libraries, museums, cemeteries, or other institutions or organizations under the jurisdiction of the secretary concerned. In 2008, gifts to benefit such institutions or organizations included a monetary gift to construct an education center and nonmonetary gifts of a bronze statue and granite benches. In 2006, Congress enacted additional authority, under 10 U.S.C. 2601(b) to allow the acceptance of gifts and services to benefit certain members of the armed forces and civilian employees of DOD who incurred a wound, injury, or illness in the line of duty and to benefit the dependents and survivors of those who are killed or wounded. For example, an Army official stated that the Army had recently accepted Internet services for wounded servicemembers who are recovering in a military hospital. Under 10 U.S.C. 2601, DOD and the military services are bound by certain limitations on both the acceptance and appropriate use of gifts accepted into the general gift funds--individual accounts established within the Department of the Treasury into which proceeds from monetary and nonmonetary gifts are deposited. In addition, DOD and the military services have established rules that are intended, among other things, to ensure that monetary and nonmonetary gifts that are accepted into these funds do not reflect unfavorably on the ability of the department to carry out its responsibilities in a fair and objective manner. DOD's policy establishes requirements for accepting, reporting, and monitoring gifts so that the department has the information necessary to conduct effective oversight of the general gift funds. Oversight of the general gift funds is essential to ensure that proceeds from monetary gifts and the disposal of nonmonetary gifts are properly accounted for and used in accordance with DOD and military service policies. In May 2004, we reported instances in which the military services did not have effective oversight of nonmonetary gifts accepted under the general gift fund authority for the renovations of general officer quarters, and we concluded that the military services had no assurance that the nonmonetary gifts were still in their possession. Under 10 U.S.C. 2601(h), the Comptroller General is required to make periodic audits of gifts, devises, and bequests accepted under section 2601(a) or (b) and to submit a report of the results of such audits to Congress. As agreed with Congressional offices, we addressed this requirement by focusing our review on evaluating the extent to which the military services have implemented DOD's policy for (1) accepting, (2) reporting, and (3) monitoring gifts accepted under the general gift fund authority."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 27, 2009

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Financial Management: DOD Needs to Clarify Its General Gift Fund Policies to Provide for Effective Oversight, text, May 27, 2009; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298143/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.