Committee approves records budget

NARA Electronic Records Archives program

The House Appropriations Committee approved a $22 million increase in the fiscal 2004 budget for the National Archives and Records Administration's Electronic Records Archives program.

Although President Bush requested $38 million for the electronic records project in fiscal 2004, the House committee settled on $35.9 million. Either way, the budget would be more than doubled from fiscal 2003, because the program is now building its first component, after years of research and development.

Archives officials want a long-term solution for electronic records. The government, bound by many legal requirements for keeping records in perpetuity, has already run into problems accessing records created on technology barely 10 years old.

The budget still has to pass a vote by the entire House. The Senate has yet to act on the bill.

Work in fiscal 2004 will include developing the specifications, architecture and design for the ERA, according to the White House's budget request for the program. NARA will also continue to lead the Electronic Records Management e-government imitative, one of 24 initiatives under the Office of Management and Budget's E-Government Strategy.

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