NARA seeks 3 percent IT gain

NARA Electronic Records Archives site

In a 2005 presidential budget defined by deep deficits, the National Archives and Records Administration would get a modest windfall of about $3 million to spend on information technology.

The president's 2005 budget request, released this week, earmarks $98 million for NARA technology projects in fiscal 2005, up about 3 percent from the $95 million requested a year ago. For electronic infrastructure upgrades at NARA, the administration requested about $30 million. Included are costs for computer networks, hardware, software, security and mainframe operations. The request is more than $3 million higher than last year's proposed $26.6 million for infrastructure improvements.

The agency's ambitious Electronic Records Archives program would get $35.9 million, $200,000 more than the president's 2004 budget request of $35.7 million. The archives program is seeking ways to preserve electronic records so that they can be read long after the technology that created them has become obsolete.

But spending on most information systems projects within NARA would stay at current levels if Congress goes along with the president's request. The administration budgeted $3.9 million in fiscal 2005 for expanding the number of online services that NARA could offer, the same amount it requested in fiscal 2004.

For efforts to help other agencies manage their electronic records, the president's 2005 budget calls for $1.6 million for NARA, the same as his 2004 budget request.

Several other IT programs will see no change in funding if Congress passes the president's budget. Among them is the Presidential Electronic Records System, which provides electronic access to the presidential records of former presidents Clinton, Bush and Reagan. The program's funding would stay flat at $1.1 million.

Again this year, NARA could get $3.4 million for contractor and government help as needed to develop IT policies, architecture documents and capital plans.

Also included, as it was last year, is $400,000 for developing a data warehouse for keeping track of various measures of the agency's performance.

At $1.6 million, the budget for NARA's declassification, review and redaction system is also flat.

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