Government Procedures for Buying Some Foreign Currencies

Gao ID: ID-79-17 August 9, 1979

Each year the U.S. Government buys about $5.5 billion worth of foreign currencies for operating expenses in other countries which must be paid in local currencies and for nonappropriated fund activites, such as the post exchange system. A review was made of Government procedures for purchasing the foreign currencies to see if the most favorable exchange rates were being obtained.

With few exceptions, currencies were being obtained at competitive exchange rates and existing arrangements were effective. However, some instances were noted where the State Department was buying currencies at rates less favorable than the official rate. For other than a few selected currencies, such as those used for large defense purposes, it did not seem advantageous to have Government agencies obtain their foreign currency needs through the Federal Reserve Bank. It is probable that the State Department could obtain somewhat more favorable rates for Japanese yen if its requirements were purchased under the same arrangements as those prevailing for Defense Department foreign operations.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: No director on record Team: No team on record Phone: No phone on record

The Justia Government Accountability Office site republishes public reports retrieved from the U.S. GAO These reports should not be considered official, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Justia.