Veto shelves Archives' IT budget

Congress has agreed to the National Archives and Records Administration's

modest request for about $8 million to spend on information technology projects,

but President Clinton shelved the measure temporarily in year-end budget

squabbling with congressional Republicans.

The Archives' IT requests had moved smoothly through Congress. "We're

quite pleased with the bipartisan support," said John Constance, a NARA

legislative affairs specialist.

But the Halloween veto left archivists uncertain of their fiscal 2001

budget's fate.

Among the Archives' IT requests were:

* $1.3 million to continue work to improve its online information system.

Funding is to be used to improve delivery of Web content, including information

from NARA databases. It also will enable the electronic submission of government

documents to the Federal Register and the electronic submission of requests

from agencies and the public for NARA services.

* $4.5 million to upgrade NARA's telephone system and a wide-area network

that enables the agency to communicate via the Internet with other agencies

and the public.

* $1 million for veterans records preservation, including reformatting

some records.

* Nearly $1 million to hire records specialists to work on records storage

problems, including electronic records scheduling.

* $563,000 to continue multiyear development of an electronic records

archive intended to make possible long-term storage of electronic records

regardless of past and future formats.

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