The following is a press release from the National Archives of the United States of America published February 14, 2011:
“Washington, DC…President Barack Obama today sent to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the Federal Government that calls for $422,501,000 for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
The requested amount for NARA is an 8.2 percent decrease from the FY 2011 President’s Budget request of $460,287,000. NARA still has not received an annual appropriation for FY 2011 and is operating under Continuing Resolution Authority which holds our spending to FY 2010 levels.
“This is a difficult budget climate that has required extraordinary actions such as freezing Federal Government civilian employee pay for two years. NARA’s budget reflects that reality. However, with the resources provided we will be able meet our vital mission to preserve the nation’s important records and make them accessible to the public as soon as possible,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
The greatest budget savings will come from the earlier decision to stop development of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) and move directly into an operations and maintenance mode. This transition at the end of FY 2011 will reduce program expenditures by $36,300,000. Beginning in FY 2012, ERA will become an operational system and will be moved back into the Operating Expenses (OE) appropriation.
In FY 2012, the President is requesting $403,742,000 for the merged OE and ERA appropriation. This is a net decrease of 7 percent or $30,447,000 from the combined FY 2011 President’s Request for OE and ERA of $434,189,000. While the majority of the decrease is within the ERA program, NARA followed Administration guidance in reducing or eliminating a variety of programs to ensure that available resources are going towards our most critical mission requirements.
New priorities that the National Archives will be able to accommodate within available funding include: hiring 15 new employees to improve government-wide and internal electronic recordkeeping; obtaining storage space for archival records to address the critical shortage of records storage space in the Washington, DC, area; supporting records storage space requirements for archival records at the new National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO; continuing to build and expand the IT infrastructure for the National Declassification Center; and hiring 11 employees to improve research room holdings protection in the Washington, DC, area.
The President also recommends a 3.5 percent decrease in the budget for NARA’s Inspector General which returns their funding to FY 2010 levels of $4,100,000.
For Repairs and Restoration (R&R) to NARA-owned buildings, the President is seeking $9,659,000, a decrease of 18.5 percent from the FY 2011 request. These resources will be applied to NARA’s base R&R requirements. The Budget also requests the removal of restrictions placed on $6,341,000 in previous fiscal year building project funding. We will use $341,000 to support base R&R requirements and the remaining $6,000,000 will be used for the top priority project in NARA’s Capital Improvements Plan, which calls for changes to the infrastructure on the ground floor of the National Archives Building in Washington. This will complete the work planned to begin in FY 2011 with Congressional support to prepare the infrastructure for creation of an orientation plaza to improve visitor circulation to the Charters of Freedom, Public Vaults, McGowan Theater, and Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery temporary exhibit gallery. It will also create space for a new Freedom Hall gallery and expand the gift shop. The Foundation for the National Archives has committed to raising matching funds for this project.
For the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives, we will be able to maintain a viable grant program with the President’s $5,000,000 request for this program. This is a 50 percent reduction from the FY 2011 request.”