The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has proposed a huge increase in fees charged to individuals who seek copies of documents held by the agency. In the past, NARA's fee increases have been "slam dunk" actions: NARA asks and then NARA receives. Now you have a chance to change that and to convince government bureaucrats that the people they serve really need to be served properly.
First, read my past articles about the 238% fee increases at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/02/nara_proposes_m.html and at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/02/comments_about_.html. Next, Allen Weinstein, the Archivist of the United States, will be on Capital Hill on Wednesday, March 14, to talk to the subcommittee on Budget Requests, about the NARA budget. Perhaps we should ask our elected officials to ask Dr. Weinstein some direct questions about the proposed fee increases.
Representative Jose E. Serrano (DEM-NY-16th) is the sub committee chair of the Financial Services and General Government Committee. Anyone with comments about the increase in prices of the mail order requests might want to send an email to Rep. Serrano before the meeting. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Other committee members include:
Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (MI)
C.A "Dutch" Ruppersberger (MD)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
Peter J. Visclosky (IN)
James P. Moran (VA)
Robert E. "Bud" Cramer, Jr. (AL)
Maurice D. Hinchey (NY)
Dave Obey (WI), Ex Officio
Ralph Regula (OH)
Tom Latham (IA)
Mark Steven Kirk (IL)
Dennis R. Rehberg (MT)
Rodney Alexander (LA)
Jerry Lewis (CA), Ex Officio
You can also contact your Representative. Email addresses for all Representatives may be found at http://www.house.gov/writerep.
Remember that most members of congress will not accept an email without a street address. Some require a phone number.
It should be noted that the proposed raise in prices is the work of the National Archives Trust Fund Board, NATF. There is a distinction, and most people think of NARA as a single entity. The NATF is the name that is on all of the forms that are sent in to NARA for copying.
My thanks to Marie Melchiori for letting me know about his opportunity.