Press Release · Wednesday, October 21, 1998
October 21, 1998
Congress Approves Budget Increase for National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, D.C. -- An appropriations bill containing a Congressionally approved funding increase for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is on its way to the President.
If the President signs the FY1999 Omnibus Appropriations Act, NARA will receive $224,614,000 for operating expenses in Fiscal Year 1999, plus $11,325,000 for facility repairs and restorations, and $10,000,000 for grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), which NARA administers. Of these amounts, the Congress has specified that $7,861,000 of the operating funds and $4,000,000 of the grant funds may not be obligated until late in the fiscal year. NARA may be eligible to receive as much as $6,662,000 more from an appropriation to the Office of Management and Budget, in the same bill, for work converting computer programs to handle the change to the year 2000.
In the new FY99 bill, NARA would receive $11,586,500 more than in FY98 in operating expense funds, $19,447,500 more counting the deferred appropriationCplus the possibility of the additional $6,662,000 for Year 2000 computer work. The NHPRC grant appropriation would be $4,500,000 more than in FY98, $4,000,000 of which is earmarked for a directed grant to the Center for Jewish History, and $500,000 of which would be an increase for grants made through NHPRCs competitive program. And the appropriation in the FY99 bill for facility repairs and restorations is the full amount requested.
The increased appropriations will enable NARA to take additional steps toward preserving electronic records, improving government records management, expanding public access to records, launching a reimbursable records-center program, re-encasing the nations Charters of Freedom on display in the rotunda of the original National Archives building, and beginning the design of the renovation of that building.
"We desperately need these funds," said Archivist of the United States John Carlin. "They will help us help the government manage records better, cope with mushrooming quantities of them, and save what the public needs to document rights, hold officials accountable, and study our history. Everyone who understands that democracy depends on accurate, accessible records will be grate