Press/Journalists

Press Release
February 6, 2006

President Bush Requests $338 Million in FY 2007 for the National Archives and Records Administration

Washington, DC…Today, President George W. Bush sent to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2007 budget for the Federal Government. The request calls for $338,054,000 for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an increase of $12,519,000 over the FY 2006 appropriations of $325,535,000.

"The President's budget request," noted Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein, "will provide necessary funding for the National Archives to make continued progress on meeting most of the goals in its Strategic Plan, and to fulfill its role as the nation's record keeper."

The Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program, a key NARA strategic goal aimed at providing a means to preserve and make accessible electronic records far into the future, is funded in the FY 2007 request at $45,455,000, which is $7,920,000 over the FY 2006 appropriated level.

This higher funding level will allow NARA to build the first increment of ERA and to ingest in their original formats a number of very important electronic records, including those of the Columbia (Shuttle) Accident Investigation Board and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission). Subsequent versions of ERA will address long-term preservation and access issues.

The importance of ERA and the technology it is expected to create is enormous-not just to NARA, but to other Federal departments and agencies, state and local governments, and countless private institutions. Its role is simple and clear: to preserve and provide continuing access over time to any type of electronic record, regardless of its original format. The capability to do this does not now exist, and without ERA, many of the records of the Federal Government will be at risk and could be lost forever.

The President's FY 2007 budget request provides no funding for grants and staff support for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), NARA's grant-making arm. Over the past four decades, NHPRC has awarded more than $153 million to more than 4,000 state and local government archives, colleges and universities, and individuals to preserve and publish important historical records that document American history.

For NARA's overall operating expenses, the President's budget proposes $289,605,000, an increase of more than $7 million compared to this year. The additional money is needed to fund staff pay raises as well as increases in the cost of rental space and security measures.

In addition, $655,000 of the operating funds will go to support the Public Interest Declassification Board. This board was originally authorized by Congress in 2001 to serve as an advisory body to the President and the executive branch in matters regarding declassification of Federal records. It is now authorized through 2008, and the Information Security Oversight Office is serving as its executive secretariat.

The FY 2007 budget request also includes funds for bringing two Presidential libraries into the NARA system.

The President has requested $3,692,000 for the staffing, operation, and maintenance in FY 2007 of the Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California, which is scheduled to be transferred to NARA later this year. In 2004, Congress changed the law governing Richard M. Nixon's presidential records to allow them to be moved to a NARA facility outside the Washington, DC, area.

The Foundation that operates the private Nixon Library is now retrofitting its facility to meet NARA requirements, and that work is expected to be completed this year. Once NARA determines that the facility meets prescribed standards, NARA will send Congress a proposal for acceptance of the Nixon Library by the government.

The President is also asking Congress for $6,900,000 toward construction of an archival storage addition to the Nixon facility that will house the Nixon records now in our College Park, Maryland, facility. Those records will be transferred to Yorba Linda in stages through 2010.

The budget request also seeks $485,000 to begin preparations for a new George W. Bush Presidential Library. The funding will be used to hire and train four archivists and a museum registrar who will be involved in the transfer of records and artifacts from the Bush administration, which ends January 20, 2009.

To relocate the regional archives operations of the Central Plains Region in Kansas City and the Southwest Region in Fort Worth, the budget provides $4 million. The General Services Administration is terminating the leases on these substandard facilities, and NARA needs to move the records to a new location.

For repairs and restoration to facilities owned by NARA, such as the National Archives at College Park, the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, and the Presidential libraries, the President's budget requests $6,120,180.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.

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