March 11, 2009
President Approves $459M Budget for National Archives
Washington, DC…The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is receiving $459,277,000 for the current fiscal year under the omnibus appropriation bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on March 11, 2009.
The $459,277,000 for Fiscal Year 2009 is a $48,144,000, or 12 percent, increase over last year’s appropriation of $411,133,000.
“We are extremely pleased with the additional resources for NARA that will enable us to fund our core programs, operate the new George W. Bush Library, increase our ability to process presidential records with the hiring of 15 new archivists, and add a criminal investigator to the Office of the Inspector General”, said Adrienne C. Thomas, Acting Archivist of the United States.
"We will also be able to continue building the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) and will use the additional funds to begin development of software to provide public access to ERA and initial preservation capabilities," she added. “With the Administration’s continued support for ERA, we are just a few years away from having public access to ERA.”
Funding for NARA’s Operating Expenses is set at $330,308,000, up from last year’s level of $315,000,000. The Operating Expenses appropriation funds rent, energy, security, and staff costs for NARA’s facilities at 44 locations around the country.
This budget also includes continued funding for new archivists hired during FY 2008, and $875,000 to further increase the number of archivists on staff. The agency is directed to report to Congress within 30 days of the specific actions it is taking to restore archivist workforce levels to pre-2002 levels.
Also included in the appropriations bill is $1,000,000 for the new Office of Government Information Services, which was created by a 2007 amendment to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Its purpose is to strengthen FOIA, monitor compliance with it by federal agencies, and ensure that the records of government remain open and accessible to the public.
The Administration also provides $650,000 to complete the review of U.S. Government records documenting the activities of the Nazis and the Japanese Imperial Government. These resources will be available for two years to enable the agency to release a supplemental report to NARA’s 2007 report on this subject.
For continued development of the ERA, the Congress appropriated $67,008,000, compared to $58,028,000 last year. The ERA had its official launch last year and this year took in the electronic records of the Executive Office of the President from the George W. Bush Administration.
The budget also directs NARA to provide quarterly progress reports on ERA to Congress and the Government Accountability Office and to alert them to any potential delays, cost overruns, and other problems with the development of the ERA.
Congress also provided $6,325,000 to operate the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas. It is now temporarily located in a facility in Lewisville, TX until the permanent library is built with private funds on the campus of Southern Methodist University.
For repairs and restorations to NARA facilities, Congress appropriated $50,711,000. This includes funding for our base and $22,000,000 to complete work on a renovation and an addition to the Kennedy Library in Boston, MA, and $17,500,000 for the first phase of a renovation and addition to the Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, NY.
The budget also provides an additional $2,000,000 to complete repair and restoration of the plaza at the Johnson Library in Austin, TX, but makes it clear that Congress will provide no more funding for this project.
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) received $11,250,000 for the current fiscal year, of which $2,000,000 will be transferred to the Operating Expenses (OE) appropriation. Last year, Congress provided NHPRC with $9,500,000 and transferred $2,000,000 to OE. This new funding level will allow NHPRC to continue its work on the Founding Fathers projects, publish historical records and support archives preservation, access and digitization grants.
# # #
For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.