September 17, 1999
Congress Approves FY 2000 Budget for National Archives and Records Administration
An appropriations bill containing $231,066,000 for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has been approved by the Congress and sent to the President.
The appropriation is slightly higher ($3,066,000 more) than the amount requested by the Administration. If the President signs the bill, the appropriation will enable NARA to carry forward major initiatives. For example, we will do the following:
- prepare for renovation of the 63-year-old original National Archives Building;
- develop a new declassification review and redaction system.
- prepare to open in 2002 the 1930 Census records;
- undertake preservation work on veterans' records and improved processes for meeting veterans' records requests;
- expand records management assistance from NARA to Federal agencies;
- advance research and development on technologies for enabling NARA to preserve and provide public access to records in electronic forms.
Among other categories for which the bill provides increased funding, it includes funds to fill 17 staff positions to help researchers in NARA reference rooms around the country, and 17 staff positions to help federal agencies with records management in Washington and in the regions.
The bill provides $180,398,000 for NARA's operating expenses in FY 2000. Also it contains $22,000,000 in start-up capital for a revolving fund for the reimbursable records-center program that NARA will launch on October 1. Beginning then, all federal agencies will reimburse NARA fully for storing records still in their legal custody and providing reference and other services on those records. Payments to the fund will cover records-center expenses that previously required operating-expense appropriations. The Congress directs NARA to report quarterly on its reimbursable records-center program to the Committees on Appropriations in both houses, the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Governmental Affairs of the Senate.
Additionally, the bill provides $22,418,000 for repairs and restoration expenses at NARA facilities, including $900,000 for design and an environmental-impact statement in preparation for a new NARA facility in Anchorage, Alaska, and $8,578,000 for preparation for the renovation of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.
Also, the bill provides $6,250,000 for NARA's grant-making affiliate, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Included is $250,000 for a grant the Commission is directed to make for research and the cataloguing of records at the Fort Buford Historic Site in North Dakota.
The same legislation rescinds $2,000,000 of $4,000,000 that the Congress appropriated to NHPRC for FY 1999 for a directed grant to the Center for Jewish History. The report of a Congressional conference committee on this bill said that "a single grant of this size is far beyond the scope of activities normally undertaken by" the NHPRC and "should not be viewed as a precedent for future grants under this program."
The NARA appropriation is part of the Treasury and General Government Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 2000.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.