News and analysis
January 16, 2015

Colt Revolver Among Gifts Not Accounted for by West Point Museum, Report Says

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The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and its museum did not properly account for millions of dollars of gifts during 2012 and 2013, according to a U.S. Department of Defense audit released Wednesday.

The Pentagon’s inspector general found that the academy did not properly record $3.9-million of the $6.1-million in nonmonetary gifts it received in those years in its property books. Nor did West Point record $8.2-million of $26.2-million in cash and nonmonetary gifts in the Army’s financial statements.

"As a result," the report says, "West Point property books are not complete, and asset amounts on the balance sheet are misstated."

The audit is the third in a series of investigations at U.S. military academies requested by the Senate Armed Services Committee. Previous investigations also found accounting problems at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy.

The report found the academy followed "generally effective" protocols to get legal approval to accept gifts and follow through on donors’ intent for how the gifts would be used.

But several gifts were not properly logged in two computer-management systems the Army uses to record donations. They included $1.5-million spent on stadium lighting and an engine valued at $135,000.

Among the noncash gifts the West Point museum did not record were a set of Civil War-era books valued at $4,000, a painting valued at $15,650, and an 1851 Colt Navy revolver valued at $4,995.

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