Economic Crisis

Everyone is being affected by this including my agency. Though we generate our own revenue through casework which is paid for by the Department of Defense, NARA is still facing some economic woes.

From the Archivist David S. Ferriero:

The National Archives and Records Administration—like all non-defense, non-security discretionary–funded federal departments and agencies—has been asked to make significant reductions to its FY 2012 budget request.

Here is the situation:

Our appropriation for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, was $469.87 million. The President’s request for us for FY 2011, the fiscal year beginning October 1, is $460.29 million, a 2-percent decrease. So far, action in Congress on FY 2011 requests has not been encouraging, not just for NARA, but across government.

Now we’ve been instructed by OMB to cut an additional $41.7 million in FY 2012 from the FY 2011 request—a 9.1-percent decrease. Also, we have been asked to identify five significant program terminations, reductions, and administrative savings to reduce agency costs.

In addition, we must submit an alternate plan that identifies an additional $23.5 million in cuts, bringing the potential reduction to $65.2 million, or 14.2 percent from the FY 2011 requested level.

Identifying reductions in our budget that total $41.7 million, let alone $65.2 million, will not be easy. We must weigh the cost savings of reducing or eliminating a program or activity against the benefits of each program and activity as they relate to our core missions.

Currently, our cost of living stipend has been frozen at 2009 levels and we won’t be seeing an increase for some time to come.  Because of this I decided to go ahead and put in for another promotion simply to keep up with the $ of living and to further develop myself.

The morale here is low, one of the lowest I have seen in years and it has reflected on the different charity campaigns we have sponsored such as the Marine Corps Toys for Tots and the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). 

Our incentive monetary awards, bonuses, including a hiring freeze is an indicator of what is going on around the country.  If Congress doesn’t get their act together who knows how deep and how long this crisis will end up being.

People are tightening their belts here at work.  I have contributed to both campaigns but that’s because I feel it’s the right thing to do despite my own issues.

I am learning to reevaluate my budget, to cut out unnecessary spending and take a hard look at my Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) and what my pension will be down the road.  Work hard but work smart, get your act together because who knows when that rainy day will come.




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