On February 1, President Obama sent to Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2011 budget request of $460.2 million for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The requested amount for NARA is a two percent decrease of $9.6 million from the FY 2010 appropriated funding levels of $469.8 million. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) would receive $10 million in grant funding, a $3 million cut from FY 2010.
Please note below that for comparison purposes, the FY ‘09 budget number will be included in parentheses after the FY 2010 proposed amount.
$348.6 million ($339.7 million) +$8.9 million
Although the President is requesting decreased overall funding for NARA, he is seeking increased Operating Expenses (OE) funding of $348,689,000, up from this year’s appropriated level of $339,770,000, or a 2.6 percent increase. The OE base increase will fund the increased costs for staff, energy, security, building operations, and information technology requirements.
The OE increase will also allow NARA to hire 57 new full-time staff members to support a variety of programs. These include:
National Declassification Center: Resources have been provided to staff and operate the new National Declassification Center (NDC). The President established the NDC within NARA to overhaul the government’s system of declassifying material. For FY 2011, the Budget requests $5,100,000 and 28 Full-Time Equivalents (FTE) to establish the National Declassification Center (NDC) and hire contract support to design and develop an integrated interagency information technology declassification system.
The new IT system will need to be flexible enough to allow files from other Federal agencies to be entered, reviewed and declassified. Ideally this system will be able to store the classified records, and provide Freedom of Information, redaction, and declassification services.To design and develop the interagency information technology (IT) system, the Budget requests $2,800,000.
The Budget requests $2,300,000 to establish the National Declassification Center office at the National Archives College Park facility. These resources will support:
- Hiring staff to include a Senior Executive Service Director, Instructional Design Specialist, a training specialist, and three Archives Specialists;
- Office fit out costs to include furniture, phones, and equipment;
- Travel to other Federal agencies to obtain stakeholder support; and
- General office operational costs.
Holdings Protection Program: For FY 2011, the Budget requests $1,500,000 for 8 FTE to implement a comprehensive holdings protection program to protect NARA holdings from external and internal threats. A new “holdings protection team” has been created to protect NARA holdings from internal and external threats. This team will develop loss prevention training and conduct compliance inspections.
Controlled Unclassified Information Office: Staff resources under the Information Security Oversight Office have been increased for the Controlled Unclassified Information Office to support expanded mission requirements. For FY 2011, the Budget requests $1,200,000 for 9 FTE to increase the capability of the Controlled Unclassified Information Office in order to meet its increased responsibilities and expanded mission.
Increase Archival Staff: The increase in OE funding will support 12 new entry-level staff archivists, which will enable NARA to continue building a cadre of new archivists to address the agency’s growing records management workload. For FY 2011, the Budget requests $950,000 and 12 FTE to address the growing workload of records and build a cadre of Archivists for the future.
The President also recommends a 3.7 percent increase in the budget for NARA’s Inspector General to hire one additional auditor.
Electronic Records Archives (ERA) project–$85.5 million ($85.5 million) no change
For continued development and deployment of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), the President is seeking $85,500,000, the same amount appropriated for the current fiscal year. Of the total Budget, the Administration is requesting that $23,743,000 be made available as one-year funding and the remaining $61,757,000 be made available as three-year funding.
Repairs and Restoration
$11.8 million ($27.5 million) -$15.6 million
For Repairs and Restoration (R&R) to NARA-owned buildings, the President is seeking $11,848,000, a decrease of 57 percent from the current year’s level. Of this, $6,848,000 is for base R&R requirements for NARA owned buildings, and $5,000,000 is for the top priority project on NARA’s Capital Improvements Plan, which calls for changes to the infrastructure on the ground floor of the National Archives Building in Washington.
These changes at the National Archives Building will enable the eventual creation of an orientation plaza to improve visitors’ ability to find their way to the Charters of Freedom, Public Vaults, Theatre, and temporary exhibit gallery. It will also create space for a new Freedom Hall gallery, expand the gift shop and create a MyArchives gallery area that will allow visitors a glimpse into the research side of the Archives. The Foundation for the National Archives has committed to raising $10 million in funding for the project, however it is contingent on the government’s decision to provide the core infrastructure to support the new development.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee recently held a hearing to inquire as to whether the National Archives is over-emphasizing its public education programs at the expense of its core mission of preserving records and making them accessible to the public. So the proposal to turn existing research space into public education areas may prove to be controversial during the upcoming appropriations process in Congress.