January 22, 2004
Congress Approves Budget For National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, D.C. . . Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin said today, "I am very pleased to report that Congress has cleared a Fiscal Year 2004 budget for the National Archives of $316,300,000. This is an increase of $47,500,000 from our FY 2003 appropriation and includes an additional $22,000,000 for our Electronic Records Archives program."
Of the total of $316,300,000, the measure provides $256,700,000 for operating expenses, which is only $1,500,000 below the President's request. It also includes a total of $35,900,000 for the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), $13,700,000 for repairs and renovations, and $10,000,000 for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
The legislation, however, also includes a .59 percent across-the-board cut on all accounts.
The National Archives' funding is contained in the compromise version of the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal 2004, which was approved by the Senate. The House approved it in December, and the White House has signaled that the President will sign it.
This funding level will allow the National Archives to continue to make progress in achieving the goals in its Strategic Plan that calls for meeting challenges posed by electronic records, addressing storage and preservation needs, and improving its technological infrastructure.
House and Senate conferees restored $35,900,000 in ERA funds, which had been deleted in the Senate's original bill. It includes a $22,000,000 increase, which will be available to the National Archives for the next three years, when it will be designing and building the first increment of the ERA.
In commenting on the budget, Mr. Carlin said, "We are very pleased that the ERA funding was restored. The ERA is absolutely essential if we are to build an electronic archives to preserve and make available to future generations the records being created now that document our rights as citizens, the actions of our Government officials, and our national experience."
The appropriation also includes $13,700,000 for repairs and renovations, including two items not in the President's request. It provides $5,000,000 for repairs to the plaza at the Johnson Library in Austin, TX, and $2,250,000 to complete land acquisition for a regional archives and records center in Anchorage, AK.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission receives $10,000,000 in FY 2004. This would fund the NHPRC, the grant-making affiliate, to its authorized level for the first time. The legislation also extends for one year the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group.
The appropriations measure also includes a requirement for a 4.1 percent pay raise for Federal employees.
The compromise measure also contains provisions affecting the papers and audio recordings of President Richard Nixon, which are currently located at the National Archives facility in College Park, MD. The provisions would clear the way for moving the Nixon records to the private Nixon library in Yorba Linda, Calif., and having the National Archives operate the library as part of its system of Presidential libraries. However, the measure also makes clear that the move shall not adversely affect the processing of or access to the Nixon records. It is anticipated that processing will continue in College Park and that the move would not be imminent.
Once again, the President and the Congress have shown their support for the National Archives by their generous appropriations for programs so important to our democracy. This funding will allow the Archives to pursue its goals outlined in its Strategic Plan with adequate resources.
For PRESS information contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 301-837-1700.