November 1, 2004
The President Signs the National Archives and Records Administration Efficiency Act of 2004
College Park, MD… On Saturday, October 30, the President signed into law the National Archives and Records Administration Efficiency Act of 2004. HR3478 was passed by the House of Representatives on September 13 and by the United States Senate on October 11.
Congressman Adam H. Putnam (FL-12), former Chairman of the House Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census and the original sponsor of H.R. 3478, the National Archives and Records Administration Efficiency Act of 2003, said "The National Archives… has the very large task of identifying, acquiring, preserving, and providing access to the permanently valuable records of the Federal government. From the records of the Continental Congress to the battle maps of Operation Desert Storm, from parchment to e-mail, the National Archives and its facilities across the Nation provides invaluable access to the records of our national life. This bill is designed to make the operations of the National Archives more efficient in several key areas and to improve their service to Federal agencies and the public."
There are five key provisions in the law, including:
Reauthorizing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at current levels for four years. NHPRC is the grant-making arm of the National Archives that makes grants nationwide to help identify, preserve, and provide public access to records, photographs, electronic records, and other materials that document American history. The grants go to state and local archives, colleges and universities, libraries and historical societies, and other nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. .
Clearing the way for the writing of more sensible regulations that will streamline and shorten the process that a Federal agency must go through to extend the length of time that it is required to hold a particular type of Federal record.
Allowing the National Archives to charge associations and other organizations fees to use meeting space at its facilities nationwide, including its Presidential libraries and regional archives. Those fees will be used by the organizations for educational outreach.
Enabling the National Archives to enter into cooperative agreements with State and local governments and non-profit organizations for the public purpose of carrying out National Archives programs. It will further allow the National Archives to transfer modest amounts of appropriated dollars, limited by the language of the law, to those organizations to carry out those purposes.
Receiving legislative authority for the National Archives to purchase uniforms for service personnel, as required by the GAO.
Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin said, "I am very grateful to Congressmen Putnam and Clay, and Senators Collins and Lieberman for their support on this important legislation. Senators Stevens, Sarbanes, and Dodd also are to be thanked for seeing that the measure made it to the Senate floor prior to the end of the session. The provisions of this law will enable the National Archives to more effectively carry out its mission. The reauthorization of the NHPRC is particularly gratifying because the National Archives and the NHPRC work together to ensure that original documentation relating to our national heritage is preserved so that historians and the general public may examine the public records, which is one of the cornerstones of a democracy."
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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at: 202-501-5526, or 301-837-1700.