Improvements Are Needed in the Management of the National Archives Preservation and Trust Fund Activities

LCD-80-13: Published: Oct 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 26, 1979.

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A review was made of the adequacy of the physical storage and preservation of documents and audiovisual materials at the National Archives and Records Service (NARS). Aspects of the National Archives Trust Fund operation were also reviewed.

Because of the high costs of deacidification and repair of paper, NARS made little progress in preserving its 3 billion textual records. Other efforts at preservation, such as fumigation, proper storage, and adequate inventory procedures, also met with practical difficulties. In addition, due to a misinterpretation of legislation on annual appropriations, NARS improperly carried over to fiscal year 1979 more than $1 million of the prior year's funds. The review of the National Archives Trust Fund showed that NARS placed the broadest interpretations on legislation governing its operation, resulting in use of the Fund for businesslike activities for which its cost accounting system is not adequate. In addition, NARS improperly used the Trust Fund Board's direct-hire authority and interchanged employees between the Fund and appropriated activities without the required approval of the Office of Personnel Management.

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