The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform fired off at least 25 letters yesterday to various federal agency leaders requesting information on how their agencies acquire and preserve art and artifacts.
Among the agencies to receive letters were the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Department of Defense, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services.
In the letters, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asked the agencies to provide documentation on things such as the value of art the agencies bought or received on loan, the agencies’ processes for acquiring art and artifacts, and the amount of taxpayer funds used to acquire the items.
Chaffetz’s concern as stated in the letter is that when federal agencies purchase artwork, it is an area potentially prone to wasting taxpayer money.
“Art collections in federal buildings bring creative and artistic beauty to public spaces, and create attractive environments for federal employees and the public that they serve,” wrote Chaffetz. “These taxpayer funded art programs, however, raise the potential for wasteful spending.”
Chaffetz gave the agency leaders a deadline of April 4, 2016 to provide the data to the Committee.