President Seeks $454 Million for NARA Funding in FY 2010
Press Release · Monday, May 11, 2009
President Barack Obama has sent to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2010 budget request that calls for $466.9 million for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
This is an increase of $7.6 million over NARA's appropriations for the current fiscal year.
"This budget request will allow NARA to continue to meet customer service expectations, maintain safety and security requirements, undertake needed facility repairs and improvements, and move forward with the new programs to establish the Office of Government Information Services and the Controlled Unclassified Information Office. We are also especially pleased that this budget will allow us to complete the renovation of the 68 year old Franklin Roosevelt Library and provides funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission's grant program," said Adrienne Thomas, Acting Archivist of the United States.
NARA's budget request is in four categories:
- Operating Expenses
- Electronic Records Archives (ERA)
- Repairs and Restoration
- National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)
For Operating Expenses (OE), the largest item, NARA would receive under the President's request $339.8 million, an increase of $12.5 million over FY 2009 funding.
OE funds cover general operating expenses such as energy and security costs, rents and building operations for NARA facilities around the country, increased technology costs, and salaries for NARA staff. Increases in these inflation-sensitive costs account for $10.2 million of the requested increase in OE funds.
Within this account the President is requesting $1 million to hire additional staff to build up the skills needed for the 21st century and to provide resources for critical programs. Building on funding for new archivists provided in the Fiscal Year 2008 and 2009 appropriations, these resources will help the agency prepare for the departure of nearly a quarter of the agency's archivists who were eligible to retire at the beginning of the current fiscal year.
Also within the OE expenditures, $1.9 million is requested for the Controlled Unclassified Information Office established within NARA at the direction of President George W. Bush in 2008. The office will establish standards and guidance for this type of information, and monitor department and agency compliance.
Also, $1.4 million is requested for the new Office of Government Information Services, which Congress established in 2007 to improve the operation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) throughout the Government through the development of guidance and training for agencies, assistance to requesters to understand how FOIA works and how to improve requests to make FOIA work better for them, monitoring of FOIA activities in the agencies, and providing mediation services for FOIA requesters.
For NARA's Office of Inspector General (OIG), $4.1 million is requested in a separate appropriation. This budget request will allow the OIG to hire two new criminal investigators and a new auditor.
Electronic Records Archives
For the Electronic Records Archives, the agency's signature program to preserve and make accessible far into the future the electronic records of the federal government, the President is requesting $85.5 million, an increase of $18.5 million over the current year appropriation.
"This budget will enable NARA to deploy the public access and initial preservation capabilities of ERA developed during FY 2009," said Thomas. "This brings the program closer to the goal of providing access to many types of electronic records via the Internet by anyone, anywhere, at any time."
The increase for FY 2010 is needed to establish a backup and restoration service and ensure that adequate capabilities are in place for managing restricted information that is in electronic format.
Repairs and Restoration
For Repairs and Restoration to NARA facilities, the President is requesting $27.5 million, a decrease of $23.2 million from the current year appropriation. Of this amount, $17.5 million is for the final phase of the renovation construction project at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY, the nation's first and oldest presidential library.
The remaining $10 million in this request will go for repairs at the 16 buildings NARA owns, including the National Archives Building in Washington, the National Archives at College Park, MD, 13 Presidential libraries and the Southeast Regional Archives outside of Atlanta.
National Historical Publications and Records Commission
For the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives, $10 million is being requested to promote the preservation of non-federal historical records at the state and local level and in private institutions. This funding will allow the NHPRC to undertake a major new initiative to provide online access to the pre-publication transcriptions as well as the final published volumes of the papers of the Founding Fathers, expediting their availability to the American people. Since 1964, the commission has awarded more than $185 million to more than 4,500 projects around the country.
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