In the Conference Report to Public Law 104-52, enacted November 19, 1995, which created the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund (PEF), Congress directed the Mint to report quarterly on implementation of the PEF. This is the United States Mint’s 30th quarterly report to Congress.
- Third quarter FY 2003 revenues: Circulating Coins: $248 million, which is a 2% decrease from second quarter. Numismatic Products: $99 million, which is 330% increase from second quarter. Bullion Coins: $28 million, which is an 80% decrease from second quarter.
- The United States Mint’s safety record continues to show significant improvement.
- The Maine commemorative quarter-dollar coin was launched.
- Congress created the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee to advise the Secretary of the Treasury on coin and medal designs and themes. The Secretary appointed seven members to the CCAC during the quarter.
- Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury, if he so elects, to change the designs of 5-cent coins that will be issued in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
- The United States Mint expects to kick-off the Artistic Infusion Program by Fall 2003.
- The United States Mint moved quickly to address issues related to allegations of employment discrimination and harassment by employees of the Denver Mint that appeared in a newspaper.
- A new Extranet application will improve coin inventory management by the United States Mint and Federal Reserve.
- The United States Mint trained representatives of organizations that contribute to its supply chain on how to minimize waste.
- The United States Mint is expanding its partnerships with three other Federal agencies.
- By popular demand, the United States Mint is expanding its education programs.
Preparations are underway for the Mint Directors Conference./ The United States Mint released one medal and is preparing three commemorative coins./ United States Mint activities were discussed in two Office of Inspector General audits, two Government Accounting Office reviews and an Office of Inspector General evaluation./ The United States Mint is helping consumers better distinguish between privately produced coins and coins produced by the United States Mint.
State Of The Mint
- The United States Mint’s primary responsibilities are:
- Producing an adequate volume of circulating coins for the United States to conduct its trade and commerce, and distributing these coins to the Federal Reserve.
- Manufacturing, marketing and selling proof and uncirculated coins, commemorative coins and medals to the general public. These products are known as numismatic products.
- Manufacturing, marketing and selling gold, silver and platinum bullion coins through the American Eagle Bullion Program. The value of American Eagle Bullion Coins generally depends upon their weight in specific precious metals. (By contrast, the numismatic value of other types of coins generally depends upon factors such as mintage, rarity, condition and age.) American Eagle Bullion Coins provide investors with a simple and tangible means to own precious metals. Not sold directly to the general public by the United States Mint, these products are available through precious metal dealers, coin dealers, brokerage companies and participating banks.
- Safeguarding United States Mint assets and non-Mint assets that are in the Mint’s custody, including bullion reserves at the Fort Knox Bullion Depository and elsewhere.
Status Of The Public Enterprise Fund
The United States Mint’s Public Enterprise Fund is financed by the sale of circulating coins to the Federal Reserve and the sale of numismatic and bullion coins and other products to customers worldwide.
QUARTERLY COMPARISON OF REVOLVING FUND REVENUE
(Millions of Dollars)
|Product Category||FY 2003
FISCAL YEAR COMPARISON OF REVOLVING FUND REVENUE
(Millions of Dollars)
|Product Category||FY 2003
Investment versions, proof versions will be included in numismatic sales when offered.
Circulating: The demand for circulating coins by commercial establishments and the general public fluctuates with the United States’ economy. To accommodate this variability, the United States Mint and Federal Reserve continually assess their inventories and the demand for circulating coins, and adjust their production, ordering and delivery schedules accordingly.
During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint shipped about 3.5 billion coins to the Federal Reserve — up by about 35 percent from last quarter’s shipments of about 2.6 billion coins. Also during the third quarter of FY 2003, circulating revenues totaled about $248 million — down by about two percent from last quarter, when revenues totaled about $253 million. (See Table #1.) This decline in circulating revenues occurred despite increased coin shipments because the percentage of quarters and other high denomination coins that were included in shipments decreased from the second quarter to the third quarter of FY 2003.
Circulating revenues for the third quarter FY 2003 were about 34 percent lower than revenues from the same quarter of FY 2002, which totaled about $376 million. (See Table #2.) This decrease in circulating revenues reflects the state of the economy. It also reflects the successful efforts of the United States Mint and Federal Reserve to improve coin inventory management, which — in addition to leveling coin inventories throughout the Federal Reserve system — reduce the Federal Reserve’s coin orders to the Mint. (For more information about these efforts, see this report’s discussion of Coin Inventory Management.)
The Federal Reserve’s coin order suggests that circulating revenues of the fourth quarter of FY 2003 circulating revenues will be somewhat lower than circulating revenues for the third quarter of FY 2003.
Numismatic Items: During the third quarter of each fiscal year, the United States Mint usually releases numismatic products for the new calendar year. Such releases typically trigger increases in sales of numismatic products that continue through the holiday season. Consistent with this expected upturn, numismatic revenues for the third quarter of FY 2003 totaled about $99 million — up by about 330% from last quarter’s revenues of about $23 million (See Table #1.)
Numismatic revenues for the third quarter of FY 2003 were about nine percent higher than revenues from the same quarter of FY 2002, which totaled about $91 million. (See Table #2.) This relative stability reflects this quarter’s $20 million revenue increase from American Eagle Proofs, which was offset by this quarter’s revenue decreases of $4.3 million and $8.9 million from core numismatic programs and commemorative coins, respectively. The $8.9 million revenue decrease in commemorative revenues reflects the fact that a new commemorative coin program has not yet been introduced this fiscal year. However, revenues from commemorative coins are expected to increase after August 1, 2003, when the 2003 First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins will be released.
During the fourth quarter of FY 2003, numismatic sales will be spurred by the fourth quarter release of the Silver Proof Set, the First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins and the American Eagle Platinum Proof. Because of these anticipated trends, the United States Mint expects numismatic revenues for the fourth quarter of FY 2003 to range from $75 million to $80 million. This projection is comparable to the $84 million in numismatic revenues that were earned during the fourth quarter of FY 2002.
Bullion Coins: During the third quarter of FY 2003, bullion revenues totaled about $28 million — down by about 80 percent from last quarter’s revenues of $139 million. (See Table #1.) This decrease reflects the decline in gold demand, which apparently accompanied the end of the war in Iraq. This quarter’s bullion revenues were about 22 percent higher than revenues from the same quarter of FY 2002, which totaled $23 million. (See Table #2.)
Update On Mint Activities
The United States Mint’s year-to-date Lost Time Accident (LTA) rate through the third quarter of FY 2003 is 1.11. (See Figure #1.)
During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint achieved another important safety milestone: June 2003 marked the United States Mint’s third LTA-free month during the six years for which detailed monthly records have been available. Moreover, this is the third quarter in a row during which the United States Mint experienced an LTA-free month. (As reported in the United States Mint’s two previous PEF reports, November 2002 and March 2003 marked the United States Mint’s first and second LTA-free months, respectively.)
50 State Quarters® Program
Launch of Maine State Quarter: On June 9, 2003, United States Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore and Maine Governor John Baldacci unveiled the Maine commemorative quarter-dollar coin. This event marked the 23rd quarter release of the 50 State Quarters Program, and the third quarter release of calendar year 2003. The design of the Maine State Quarter showcases a rendition of the Pemaquid Point Light atop a granite coast and the famous Victory Chimes schooner at sea.
Nearly 2,000 citizens attended the ceremony marking the launch of the Maine State Quarter, which was held in front of the dramatic Pemaquid Point Lighthouse in New Harbor, Maine. The following Maine officials and dignitaries also participated in the ceremony: Dale McCormick, Maine State Treasurer; Tom Wilcox, Executive Director of the Maine Maritime Museum; Tim Harrison, President of the American Lighthouse Foundation; and Captain Kip Files of the Victory Chimes schooner.
2004 State Quarter Designs: The United States Mint expects designs for all 2004 50 State Quarters Program coins — Michigan, Florida, Texas, Iowa and Wisconsin — to be finalized by September 2003. During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint achieved the following milestones towards the release of these quarters:
- Michigan State Quarter: Five candidate designs for this quarter, which were reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on June 24, will be reviewed by the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) on July 17.
- Florida State Quarter: A final recommendation for this quarter was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
- Texas and Iowa State Quarters: Five candidate designs for the Texas State Quarter and five candidate designs for the Iowa State Quarter were approved by the Secretary of the Treasury. By August 1, final recommendations will be made from these candidates by Texas and Iowa, respectively.
- Wisconsin State Quarter: Candidate designs for the Wisconsin State Quarter will be reviewed by the CCAC and the CFA in July.
United States Mint/United States Postal Service (USPS) Partnership: The 50 State Quarters Greetings from America Series consists of the following products:
- 50 State Quarters Greetings from America Card Sets: Honors each of the five states that received a state quarter during a particular year. For each state, the following items are included in the Card Set: 1) A baseball card-sized card of the state; (2) The state quarter; and (3) The state’s Greetings from America stamp.
- 50 State Quarters Greetings from America Portfolios: Honors each of the five states that received a state quarter during a particular year. For each state, the following items are included in the Portfolio: 1) Scenic photographs of the state; (2) The state quarter; and 3) The state’s Greetings from America stamp.
Since January 2003, Card Sets and Portfolios representing 2002 have been sold over the websites of the United States Mint and the USPS. In May 2003, Card Sets and Portfolios representing 1999 became available through the United States Mint’s Subscription Program. Card Sets and Portfolios representing 2000, 2001, and 2003 will be released later this year, and those representing the program’s remaining years — 2004 through 2008 — will be released at the end of 2003.
The USPS sold Maine State Cards at the Maine State Quarter launch. The USPS is expected to attend all future quarter launches.
United States Mint/Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) Partnership: Since September 2002, the United States Mint has been selling new, uncut sheets of $1.00, $2.00 and $5.00 bills produced by the BEP. During the third quarter of FY 2003, sales of this product significantly increased, probably because BEP announced that it will redesign its currency. The United States Mint is continuing to explore possibilities of developing additional partnerships with BEP.
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): The Lewis and Clark Coin and Currency Coin set will be released in 2004 through the United States Mint’s partnership with the NARA. This product will include various products, including coins produced by the United States Mint, stamps produced by the USPS, and Lewis and Clark Buffalo Notes produced by the BEP.
5-Cent Coin Redesign
The current design of the 5-cent coin, which features a likeness of President Jefferson and Monticello on the obverse and reverse, respectively, has remained unchanged since 1938. On April 11, 2003, Congress passed the American 5-Cent Coin Design Continuity Act of 2003, and on April 23, 2003, the President signed it into law (Public Law 108-15). The Act allows the Secretary to change the obverse and the reverse of 5-cent coins to be issued in 2003, 2004 and 2005 in recognition of the bicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase and expedition by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.
In May 2003, design concepts for the new 5-cent coin were reviewed by the CCAC and the CFA. The United States Mint integrated recommendations for the new designs into coinable designs, which were reviewed by the CCAC and CFA in June 2003. Revisions of these coinable designs will be reviewed by the CCAC and the CFA in late July/August.
Creation of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee
The American 5-Cent Coin Design Continuity Act of 2003 abolished the Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee, and established the 11-member Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). The CCAC will advise the Secretary of the Treasury on themes and design proposals for circulating coins, bullion coins, commemorative coins and medals; suggest events, people or places to be commemorated; and advise on mintage levels.
The CCAC will submit an annual report describing its activities and recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of the Treasury.
Members of the CCAC, all of whom are appointed by the Secretary of the Treasury, include one qualified in numismatic collection curation; one qualified in the medallic arts/sculpture; one qualified in American history; one qualified in numismatics; three representing the interests of the general public; and four individuals recommended by the leadership of Congress.
On May 1, 2003, the Secretary of the Treasury appointed four existing members of the former Citizens Commemorative Coin Advisory Committee to the CCAC. These appointees include Ms. Ute Wartenberg, chairperson of the CCAC, who represents the interests of the numismatic collection curation; Ms. Connie Matsui and Ms. Connie Harriman, who each represent the interests of the general public; and Mr. David Tripp, who is specially qualified in numismatics. The Secretary also appointed a new member to the CCAC: Mr. Daniel Altshuler, who is specially qualified in medallic arts/sculpture.
On May 12, the Secretary appointed the following three individuals to the CCAC on the basis of recommendations by the leadership of the House and the Senate: Mr. Thomas W. Noe, who was recommended by House Speaker Dennis Hastert; Mr. Richard W. Bratton, who was recommended by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist; and Mr. Leon G. Billings, who was recommended by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
Artistic Infusion Program
The United States Mint is currently establishing an Artistic Infusion Program, which will create a pool of accomplished sculptors, engravers, design experts and graduate-level art students who will be invited to submit drawings of new designs for selected coins and medals. These new designs will be sculpted and engraved by United States Mint sculptors and engravers. The United States Mint believes that the Artistic Infusion Program will help enrich and invigorate the designs of coins and medals produced by the United States Mint.
During the third quarter of FY 2003, work progressed on developing a “Call for Artists” announcing criteria for selecting artists for participation in the Artistic Infusion Program and guidelines for applying for the Program. The United States Mint expects to enroll 40 artists in the Program by Fall 2003. These artists will initiate their participation in the Program by attending an orientation program and a symposium that will highlight the history of the design of United States coins and medals, coin-making processes and upcoming design opportunities.
Coin Inventory Management
The United States Mint and Federal Reserve are currently working together to improve coin production and inventory management. As part of this effort, during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint rolled out to all Federal Reserve locations a new Extranet coin shipping schedule application. This application will automate many laborious tasks involved in maintaining and updating the United States Mint’s schedules of coin shipments to the Federal Reserve.
The United States Mint is also working with the Federal Reserve to transfer previously circulated coins from Reserve Banks that have excess supplies to nearby Reserve Banks that need additional supplies. This method of redistributing coins helps the Federal Reserve to reduce and balance its coin inventories and helps lower Federal Reserve orders of new coins from the United States Mint.
In addition, the United States Mint is supporting the efforts of the Federal Reserve to improve its inventory management of 50 State Quarters coins by reducing production of these coins, providing partial shipments of 50 State Quarters coins to the Federal Reserve and other distributors when requested to do so, and wrapping these coins as needed by smaller coin depositories.
Supply Chain Management
The United States Mint is currently incorporating best-in-business practices into every link of its supply chain — from obtaining raw materials to distributing coins. Among the best-in-business practices currently being adopted by the United States Mint are the techniques of lean supply chain management, which are designed to minimize waste in manufacturing operations as well as in pre-manufacturing and post-manufacturing operations.
To this end, during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint conducted training on how to apply the principles of lean supply chain management to coin production and coin distribution by enhancing the Mint’s partnerships with first-tier suppliers of raw materials and with the Federal Reserve. The training was attended by suppliers of numismatic precious metal blanks, fabricators of circulating metals and representatives of the Federal Reserve.
Also during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint commissioned a study of the Mint’s supply chain from the Federal Reserve to the U.S. commercial banking system. The results of this study will help the United States Mint and Federal Reserve to develop strategies for optimizing the efficiency of their supply chains.
During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint continued to run its “Genuine United States Mint” television and print advertising campaign to promote sales of the Mint’s full-line of products as well as enhance the Mint’s brand and name recognition. As part of this campaign, print advertisements for the 50 State Quarters Greetings from America Series and 2003 American Eagle Silver Proof Coins ran in USA Today, Newsweek and Time. (During the fourth quarter of FY 2003, the campaign’s television and print advertisements will focus on silver proof sets.)
Also during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint prepared several advertisements including a two minute-long advertisement for a variety of Mint products that will air on US Airway’s inflight news network in September and October 2003, and a 30-second spot for proof sets that will air on Radio Disney in about 100 metropolitan areas.
The popularity of the United States Mint’s Education Initiatives is steadily growing. (See graph on front cover of this report.) Evidence of this trend includes the 260,000 hits received by the United States Mint’s H.I.P. Pocket Change website www.usmint.gov/kids during the third quarter of FY 2003 — up by 23 percent from the same quarter last year. In addition, during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint’s free 50 State Quarters Program Lesson Plans were downloaded almost 200,000 times.
The distribution of free lesson plans for K-6 graders by the United States Mint is now an integral component of all 50 State Quarters Program coin launches. However, the Maine State Quarter launch also featured the United States Mint’s release of a free “Web Quest” — a computer-based educational resource about Maine’s geography, culture and history that is targeted for seventh, eighth and ninth graders. The United States Mint geared the Web Quest to these grade levels because each seventh grader in Maine is assigned his or her own Internet-connected laptop in school. The Governor promoted the Mint’s Web Quest by informing all seventh grade teachers about this resource, and by declaring June 9th “Maine State Quarter Day In The Classroom.” Because of the success of the United States Mint’s K-6 lesson plans and the Web Quest, the United States Mint’s release of lesson plans for 7th graders though 12th graders will become an integral component of all 50 State Quarters Program coin launches.
In addition, the United States Mint will sponsor its second “Coins In The Classroom Lesson Plan Contest” from June 30 until October 30, 2003. Through this contest, the designers of the most innovative coin-centric lesson plans will be rewarded with numismatic prizes, and the winning lesson plans will be posted on the Mint’s website. The contest will thereby encourage teachers to develop new ways to use coins as teaching tools, and spread the wealth of information that results.
Quick Action Taken on Denver Employees’ Concerns
On May 30, a group of 32 employees of the Mint’s Denver facility filed a class complaint alleging employment discrimination and harassment. On June 9, the group disclosed the filing and made its allegations public to a Denver newspaper. In response to issues related to this matter, the United States Mint quickly took the following actions:
- Director Fore personally visited the Denver facility and invited employees to communicate their comments to her.
- Director Fore reminded all United States Mint managers and employees of the agency’s strict policy against discrimination and harassment, requirements for demonstrating mutual respect in the workplace and the importance of upholding the Mint’s New Era Values, which emphasize accountability, leadership, trust/respect/integrity, teamwork and communication.
- A top management team, including the Manager of the United States Mint’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and the Associate Director for Manufacturing, conducted a top-to-bottom review of the Denver Mint, spoke with employees about their concerns and assessed the workplace environment.
- The Denver Mint’s Plant manager, union representatives, acting EEO Manager and division heads conducted an immediate walk-through of the facility to check lockers, toolboxes and other areas of the building for any inappropriate materials.
The United States Mint is currently following-up on these additional measures that are included in its action plan:
- Holding meetings at which employees can voice their concerns to the United States Mint’s EEO Manager.
- Quickly recruiting and selecting a permanent EEO Manager for the Denver Mint.
- Establishing an Ombudsman Program to provide employees with a confidential, neutral avenue for raising concerns, identifying options and resolving conflicts.
- Providing additional mandatory training to all Mint employees on recognizing, preventing resolving and reporting harassment.
- Promoting a better understanding of the job selection process among employees.
- Identifying additional ways to create a model work environment.
The United States Mint has zero tolerance for discrimination, harassment, intimidation and other disruptive behaviors in the workplace. More determined than ever to provide a model work environment, the United States Mint is confident that its implementation of these and other measures will re-enforce New Era Values and promote excellence, mutual respect, dignity, diversity and integrity at all Mint facilities.
Biennial Convention of the International Mint Directors’ Conference
The Mint Directors Conference (MDC) is an international body that promotes the exchange of information about manufacturing, technical, marketing and financial issues among its membership of 42 national mints. Director Fore is currently Vice President of the MDC. The United States Mint will host the XXIII MDC in San Francisco from March 18 to 23, 2004. During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint finalized the list of speakers and conference agenda for this event.
On June 18, 2003, the United States Mint hosted the first meeting of the MDC Marketing Committee, which was attended by the Directors of the Royal Dutch Mint and Singapore Mint, and a representative of the Royal British Mint. At this meeting, discussions covered the direction of the Committee and preparations for the marketing sessions that will be held at the XXIII MDC. These will be the first such sessions held at a conference.
During the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint also prepared for the General Assembly meeting that will be held at the American Numismatic Association show on August 1, 2003. To this end, we have scheduled and finalized the agendas for meetings covering MDC membership issues, the future of the Coin Registration Office and updates on the Materials and Marketing Committees.
Medals and Commemorative Coins
2003 National Wildlife Refuge System Centennial Medal Series: This series of silver medals honors President Theodore Roosevelt, founder of the National Wildlife Refuge System. A commission based upon a percentage of the proceeds from sales of these medals is authorized to benefit the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and its conservation efforts. This medal series was released through the Mint’s Subscription Program in June 2003. (This is the first silver medal series ever offered by the United States Mint.)
The obverse side of each medal in the series features a likeness of President Theodore Roosevelt along with the inscription, “CELEBRATING A CENTURY OF CONSERVATION 1903 – 2003 THEODORE ROOSEVELT,” and the inscription, “NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM.” The reverse side of each medal in the series features an image of a species that is protected by the National Wildlife Refuge System.
2003 First Flight Centennial Commemorative Coins: This series of gold, silver and clad coins will honor the 100th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s historic flight near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A surcharge on the sales of this coin series is authorized to help pay for the maintenance of the Wright Brothers Monument in North Carolina. During the third quarter of 2003, the United States Mint prepared promotional materials in preparation for the launch of these commemorative coins in August 1, 2003.
The obverse of the gold and silver First Flight coins each feature an image of the Wright Brothers, and the obverse of the clad First Flight coin showcases an image of the Wright Monument. The reverse side of each coin features an image of Orville and Wilbur Wright ‘s plane.
2004 Lewis and Clark Commemorative Coin: This silver coin will honor the 200th bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. A surcharge on the sales of these coins is authorized to benefit the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council and the National Park Park Service for activities marking the anniversary of the Lewis and Clark expedition. This coin will be released in May 2004 to mark the 200th anniversary of the expedition’s departure from St. Louis.
The obverse side of this coin features an image of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on a stream bank planning their travel and exploration. The reverse side of this coin features two feathers representing the many Native American Indian cultures studied by the Corps of Discovery Expedition.
2004 Thomas A. Edison Silver Dollar: This silver dollar will honor the 125th anniversary of Thomas A. Edison’s invention of the light bulb. A surcharge on the sales of this coin is authorized to be divided among eight organizations that are dedicated to paying tribute to Thomas Edison. This coin’s release date has not yet been scheduled. In May 2003, candidate designs for this coin were approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.
The obverse side of this coin features an image of Thomas A. Edison at mid-life with the “Edison Effect” bulb in his West Orange, New Jersey, laboratory. The reverse side of this coin features an image of a light bulb sending out rays of light. The dates “1879-2004” appear at the base of the light bulb, and the words “125th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIGHT BULB” appear over the light bulb.
Third Quarter Audits
Office of Inspector General (OIG) Audits: During the third quarter of FY 2003, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) issued the following security-related audit reports involving the United States Mint:
- Federal Uniformed Police: Selected Data on Pay, Recruitment and Retention at 13 Police Forces In The Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area was issued in June 2003. The report identifies differences in the use of available human capital flexibilities as well as in the recruitment, retention, and turn-over experiences of selected Federal uniformed police forces in the Washington area.
- Firearms Control: Federal Agencies Have Firearms Controls, But Could Strengthen Controls in Key Areas was issued in June 2003. This report reviewed firearms controls at 18 federal agencies, which account for 95 percent of the federal officers and agents who are authorized to carry firearms. Results of this review indicate that existing controls at these agencies are consistent with Federal internal control standards. However, controls on inventory management could be strengthened.
GAO Audits: GAO is currently reviewing differences among the budgetary, accounting and cost oversight methods used by the United States Mint for producing coins and those used by BEP for producing paper currency. An exit conference that had been scheduled for June 25 was postponed, pending notification from GAO. Also during the third quarter of FY 2003, the United States Mint responded to a GAO draft report issued for a review of Mint and BEP security services, and a Treasury OIG questionnaire evaluating Bureau compliance with the Rural Development Act of 1972.
Internet advertisements that promote “Operation Freedom” colorized Kennedy half-dollars as commemorative coins have generated confusion among many consumers who believe that the colorized coins, which are produced by private Mints, are genuine commemorative coins that are legislated by Congress and produced by the United States Mint. These advertisements have caught the attention of the United States Mint and the Michigan State Attorney General’s Office.
Also potentially confusing are advertisements that promote colorized Eisenhower dollar coins and American Eagle silver bullion coins honoring the U.S. armed forces in Iraq. To help consumers better distinguish between coins produced by private Mints and those produced by the United States Mint, the United States Mint is taking several actions. These actions include working with private mints to remove troublesome language from advertisements that appear to cause market confusion, broadcasting consumer awareness information on the United States Mint’s website and issuing consumer awareness press releases, as necessary.
AINS v. United States Decision
In a May 23, 2003, decision on AINS v. United States, the United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the United States Mint is not subject to that Court’s jurisdiction. This ruling effectively precludes Mint contractors from obtaining or appealing a judicial review of a Mint contracting officer’s decision on any Mint contract.
The Court of Federal Claims defined the central issue in AINS v. United States as “whether the Mint is a Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentality (NAFI),” and then classified the Mint as a NAFI. The Mint’s NAFI status is critical because NAFIs may not be sued in the Court of Federal Claims, which is only authorized to award judgments that are paid from appropriated funds. Therefore, by classifying the Mint as a NAFI, the Court excluded the Mint from its jurisdiction. The Court based its classification of the Mint as a NAFI on the history of NAFI doctrine, application of the doctrine to the structure and operation of the Mint’s Public Enterprise Fund (PEF), analysis of Congress’s intent in its authorization of the Mint’s PEF, the Mint’s self-supporting nature, and the Court’s observation that there is no situation in which the United States Mint can use appropriated funds.