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National Archives needs funding doubled, 200 extra staff, claims panel

A government-appointed panel claims the National Archives needs its funding doubled and an extra 200 staff hired in order to survive, reports the Canberra Times.

In a submission made to a review examining major problems with the institution, the chair of the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council Denver Beanland said the archives are in jeopardy after years of federal government neglect. ‘The National Archives is now in an unsustainable budgetary and resource position and is unable to properly meet its legislated requirements,’ Beanland wrote.

The institution has shed 74 jobs since 2012 and lost about 10 per cent of its budget annually since 2014. Beanland said ‘essential’ plans to digitise hundreds of thousands of deteriorating items had been delayed, and warned that there were cybersecurity risks to maintaining records in outdated systems. ‘The digital archival records of the Commonwealth are currently fragmented across hundreds of separate systems and government entities exposed to compromise, obsolescence or loss,’ said Beanland.

Beanland called for an extra 193 full-time equivalent staff, on top of the existing 343, and an extra $65 million per year to reach a near-doubling of its annual budget to $153 million by 2026.

The government said it will await the final report of the review in August before commenting on individual submissions.


Category: Library news