Archives budget would drop 10 percent

NARA would cut $36M by stopping work on digital archive project

President Barack Obama has recommended trimming the National Archives and Records Administration’s budget by $47 million in fiscal 2012, mostly through canceling future development of its huge digital archive development program, the agency said.

Under Obama's proposed budget released Feb. 14, NARA would receive $423 million, a drop of 10 percent from the fiscal 2010 enacted level of $470 million, according to a news release.

The proposed cuts include $36 million from canceling the Electronic Records Archive development program. The program, which began in 2001, has been troubled by changing requirements, schedule changes and an expanding budget.


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Electronic Records Archive needs more oversight, auditors say


“This is a difficult budget climate that has required extraordinary actions such as freezing federal government civilian employee pay for two years,” said David Ferriero, archivist of the United States. “NARA’s budget reflects that reality. However, with the resources provided we will be able meet our vital mission to preserve the nation’s important records and make them accessible to the public as soon as possible.”

Development costs for the digital archive have more than doubled, and the costs to complete the current phase rose from $317 million to $567 million and are likely to go higher, according to a Feb. 4 report from the Government Accountability Office. The total cost could go as high as $1.4 billion over its life cyle.

Obama also proposed a $5 million budget for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant program.





About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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