Senator Feinstein Proposes Segregated Fund for Smithsonian Maintenance

Senate Rules and Administration Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D-CA) this week proposed a $45 million public/private matching program for the Smithsonian Institution that would be dedicated solely to facilities maintenance and revitalization projects. Under the new Legacy Fund proposal, if the Smithsonian raised $30 million in private funds, the federal government would match those donations with $15 million additional federal dollars.

Congress and White House Inch Towards Budget Compromise

This week, the Congress and the White House remained deadlocked in their annual game of chicken over the passage of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 federal budget. The Democratic leadership in both houses will attempt next week to pass omnibus spending legislation that includes all eleven remaining appropriations bills. Congress recently passed another continuing resolution that funds federal agencies at last year’s spending levels through December 21.

National Archives Announces Successful Test of Electronic Archives System

The National Archives and Records Administration announced this week that the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) system has passed a significant milestone, with the successful completion of government testing of the first delivery of software from the developer, Lockheed Martin Corporation. When completed, the ERA will provide the means for preserving virtually any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software.

CIA Foresees Reduced Declassification, New Loopholes

Citing “reduced resources” the Central Intelligence Agency anticipates declining productivity in its declassification program, according to a newly disclosed declassification plan. Between 1995 and 2006, CIA reviewed nearly 97 million pages of 25-year old documents and released 30 million pages, the Agency reported. But that level of activity is unlikely to be sustained.