The President's budget request will have some impact on every genealogist, historian, and anyone else who uses the many services of the National Archives and Records Administration. Therefore, it is interesting to me that David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, offered the following insights:
February 13, 2012
Today, the President transmitted to Congress his budget request for Fiscal Year 2013, including $386.8 million for NARA. NARA's request is slightly less than the amount Congress provided for FY 2012 ($392 million); it is a reduction of more than 10 percent from FY 2011 levels.
NARA has four primary "accounts" for which the President is requesting funds in FY2013: Operating Expenses, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), and Repairs and Restoration to NARA-owned buildings.
NARA has requested $371.7 million for the Operating Expenses appropriation, which now also includes the Electronic Records Archives (ERA) program. This level is slightly less than FY 2012 funding. The requested level will allow NARA to continue to provide critical services to other Federal agencies, researchers, and the public and make incremental progress towards increasing customer engagement and improving our business processes.
NARA's request includes $4.1 million for the Office of Inspector General, the same as FY 2012, and $8 million for Repairs and Restorations to NARA-owned buildings, a 12 percent reduction from FY 2012 funding. Our request for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grants program is $3 million a 40 percent reduction from FY 2012 funded levels. NARA's budget does not request any increases for FY 2013.
Our budget provides a clear view of agency activities and reflects the austere budget environment faced by all Federal agencies. Our request demonstrates our resolve to deliver our core mission requirements and continue the Transformation within available resources.
Our budget does not include major changes to NARA programs, facilities, or staffing. Unlike our FY 2012 request, we were able to formulate our FY 2013 request within guidance without terminating or reducing any specific programs. However, we face extraordinary challenges in managing increasing volumes of paper and electronic records, meeting increased customer expectations, and improving employee satisfaction within a stagnant budget. We also face the very real possibility of an additional, across-the-board cut of nine percent in FY 2013, as a result of the failure of the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee to reach agreement last Fall.
As we begin planning for FY 2013 and start the budget formulation process for FY 2014, we will continue to have frank discussions about the efficiency of our operations and the effectiveness of our spending. Many of these conversations will be difficult, but necessary. We must review the scope and duration of our programs to ensure they are narrowly focused on NARA's mission. NARA faces the same budgetary pressures in FY 2013 that we have faced in the past several years, and we must continue to work diligently to deliver increasing value to our customers with limited and decreasing resources.
DAVID S. FERRIERO
Archivist of the United States
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