Press/Journalists

Press Release
February 7, 2005

President Proposes Tight FY 2006 Budget for the National Archives

Washington, D.C. . . President George W. Bush has sent to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2006 budget for the Federal Government, including the National Archives and Records Administration. The National Archives requested portion of the Federal FY 2006 budget is $323,071,000, which exceeds the FY 2005 funded level of $318,720,672.

The Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program, a key National Archives initiative, is funded in the FY 2006 request at the FY 2005 level of $35,914,000. The FY 2006 funding level sought by the President will enable the Archives to continue the development of ERA and lay the groundwork for building the entire system.

ERA is vitally important, not only to the National Archives and the Federal government at large, but also to state and local governments and the private sector. This entirely new, ground-breaking approach will provide a comprehensive, systematic, and dynamic means of preserving and providing continuing access over time to any type of electronic record created. This essential capability does not now exist. Federal agencies, Congress, and others recognize that the National Archives is the leader in creating this system. Without ERA, many of the records of our Government will be lost forever.

The President's budget also recommends an end to all grant funding and staff support for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the National Archives grant-making arm. Over the past 40 years, the Commission has awarded $153,000,000 to 4,000 state and local government archives, colleges and universities, and individuals to preserve and publish important historical records that document non-Federal American history. Since some of the Commission's grants encompass multiple years, these grants will continue until the awarded funding has been used.

The President's budget proposes $280,975,000 for operating expenses, an increase over this year's $264,809,440. It is from this appropriation that the National Archives funds basic agency operations and staffing at the 34 facilities nationwide. The National Archives is facing a number of increased costs in these core areas.

The NARA budget request also includes resources in FY 2006 to cover some special requirements. For some mandated e-Government costs, $240,000 is being requested. An additional $100,000 has been proposed to enable the Inspector General to increase investigations of missing or stolen documents from our holdings.

The President's budget also requests $3,353,000 to replace the 11-year-old security system for the National Archives College Park facility. The new system will use smart chip technology to meet recently mandated Federal guidelines and standards.

Also included in the President's request is $1,076,000 to develop an agency-wide Continuity of Operations Plan that is required of all Federal agencies. The National Archives Office of the Federal Register has a lead role in emergency situations to publish emergency regulations for the Government to ensure its continued operation no matter what crisis may be disrupting normal Governmental operations.

To maintain the 15 facilities owned by the National Archives, including the National Archives Building, the College Park facility and the Presidential libraries, the President's budget requests $6,182,000. This is the same amount that was allocated for this function in FY 2005.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-501-5526.

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