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GSA Lacks Adequate Controls Over Foreign Gifts and Decorations


In April 2023, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Office of Inspections, initiated an evaluation of the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Foreign Gifts and Decorations Program. Our review covered the period January 1, 2019, through April 27, 2023. The purpose of the review was to determine whether GSA properly accounts for and disposes of foreign gifts and decorations, and if GSA is ensuring adequate security of the gifts and decorations in its custody.

GSA manages the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Program through two separate offices. The Office of Administrative Services (OAS) is responsible for receipt and retention of foreign gifts and decorations (foreign gifts) given to GSA employees. The Federal Acquisition Service (FAS), Office of Personal Property Management is responsible for the disposition of foreign gifts government-wide.

Our evaluation found that FAS’s Foreign Gifts and Decorations Program generally lacked adequate inventory management controls, resulting in foreign gifts missing from the program’s inventory. We also identified prohibited gifts included in the inventory; inefficient inventory storage, labeling, and organization; gifts sitting in storage for years; and infrequent inventory activities and follow-up. Additionally, we observed vulnerabilities in the security of the foreign gifts, leaving them susceptible to loss or theft. Lastly, we found foreign gifts sold by GSA to recipients and to the public did not follow federal requirements and internal policies for essential documentation.

Our report makes six recommendations to address the issues identified during the evaluation. In response to our report, GSA management agreed with our findings and recommendations. Management comments can be found in their entirety in Appendix 2. Based on management comments, we made a revision to Recommendation 2.