Press/Journalists

Press Release
November 23, 2005

Congress Approves FY 2006 Budget of $338 Million for the National Archives

Washington, DC…Congress has passed and President Bush is expected to sign a Fiscal Year 2006 budget of $338,141,000 for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The FY 2006 funding is $15,070,000 more than the President's request for NARA for FY 2006 and nearly $20,000,000 greater than the FY 2005 appropriation of $318,720,672.

"We are grateful to the Congress for funding fully the President's request for NARA for 2006," said Professor Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States, "and will do our utmost to spend each penny given to us carefully and responsibly."

The measure includes $283,045,000 for basic operating expenses, $37,914,000 for work on the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), $9,682,000 for repairs and renovations at NARA facilities, and $7,500,000 for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

The legislation also authorizes a 3.1 percent pay raise for civilian employees but does not include any additional funds for it.

For the ERA, Congress appropriated $37,914,000, of which $22,000,000 will be available through FY 2008 to build the system to preserve and make accessible, into the future, the electronic records of the federal government. This funding level will allow the National Archives to continue the development of ERA and lay the groundwork for building the entire system.

The ERA funding also includes $2,000,000 for NARA to begin working with the Naval Oceanographic Office at the National Center for Critical Information Processing and Storage (NCCIPS) at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NARA will work with the NCCIPS to locate a component of the distributed ERA system there. NARA will locate mirror systems at geographically distant sites to ensure continuing operations in case of local problems or even disasters.

For repairs and renovations at the 15 facilities NARA owns, the FY 2006 appropriations provides $9,682,000. This includes $1,500,000 to contribute to the construction of a new regional archives and records facility in Anchorage, Alaska; $1,000,000 for repair of the plaza at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin, Texas; and $1,000,000 for the design of the renovation and expansion of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

The NHPRC, the grant-making arm of NARA, receives $7,500,000 for FY 2006. "We are especially pleased that NHPRC received adequate funding to continue its grant program," said Weinstein, who is also Chairman of the Commission.

"The NHPRC fills a vital role in making grants to preserve non-federal historical records that are important to the American story," he said. "Just recently, NHPRC provided grants to the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas to help in recovering and preserving records damaged by the recent hurricanes."

The appropriations provides $283,045,000 for NARA's operating expenses. Of that amount, $2,000,000 is earmarked for the initial move of records, staffing, and operations of the Nixon Presidential Library, which is scheduled to become part of NARA in 2006. The private Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California, is now being retrofitted to meet NARA standards in preparation for its conversion into a Federally-operated facility.

In its FY 2004 appropriations, Congress agreed to allow Richard M. Nixon's Presidential papers to be stored outside the Washington, D.C., area. The review of Nixon records now under way at the National Archives at College Park will continue until 2008 or 2009, and then those records will be transferred to the library.

Also included in the NARA budget was $100,000 to expand the investigative capacity of NARA's Office of the Inspector General to assist in researching and retrieving missing or stolen NARA documents.

The National Archives and Records Administration is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives is a public trust upon which our democracy depends, ensuring access to essential evidence that protects the rights of American citizens, documents the actions of the government, and reveals the evolving national experience. The National Archive oversees four Washington-area facilities, 11 Presidential libraries, 14 Regional Archives and 17 Regional Records Centers distributed through 20 states.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.

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