Report Details Smithsonian Business Unit's Problems

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In its latest effort to right itself, the Smithsonian Institution has accepted a finding that its business unit is plagued by poor internal communication, diffuse organization and inadequate oversight.

A 70-page report released Monday by a task force charged with looking into the Smithsonian’s revenue-generating activities paints “a picture of an institution unnecessarily divided against itself, a division that persists despite recently improved communication efforts,” said Marshall Turner, chairman of the task force and former chairman of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, in his introductory letter.

The task force was established last August by Cristián Samper, the Smithsonian’s acting secretary, to review the status of Smithsonian Business Ventures, which since 1999 has overseen revenue-generating activities including Smithsonian magazine, retail stores and Smithsonian Networks.

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