The National Archives is proposing a number of changes to our operations and public services. The proposals are part of the organisation's plan to reduce running costs by 10 per cent by 2010 and to improve energy usage.
These savings will ensure The National Archives has sufficient funds to continue with its core activities and is able to invest for the future.
The National Archives has taken a strategic approach and identified efficiencies that will put us in a stronger financial position to see us through the challenging economic conditions.
What are we proposing and how will we do it
What we are proposing:
- We are proposing savings of £4.2 million (of which £900k is public services contribution)
- There are many proposed savings across every area of The National Archives - we have proposed changes which maintain quality, and cut quantity instead
- Because we are stopping some services and activities, we will need fewer staff
- We expect (and need) to achieve most of the savings by the end of March 2010
How we propose doing this:
- Changing our public service provision at Kew, focusing on the quantity of provision rather than sacrificing the quality
- Reducing management costs by having fewer management roles. This will be achieved by changing the structure of some teams and by reducing the number of stand-alone teams
- Making our trading services, such as publishing, profitable
- Doing things differently and at lower cost. This includes facilities changes, such as mowing the lawn less often and not cleaning the windows as frequently; shifting recruitment to be predominantly online; and reviewing areas where we spend a lot of money (including databases, IT infrastructure and public library subsidies)
Impact on public services and future investment
Impact on public services at Kew
- We are proposing to move to five-day opening by closing the reading rooms on Mondays
- We will introduce charges for use of the public car park
- We will remove selected large microfilm and microfiche records series from the reading rooms
- We will streamline copying services with the introduction of a new online request service (we will no longer operate Digital Express and estimating services)
- We will focus advice and expertise where and when it is needed, for example not providing expert staff between 17:00 and 19:00 when there is minimal demand
Overall we are proposing changes which maintain quality, and reduce quantity instead
Future investment in online services
We will continue to invest in improving online access to our records and expertise. Projects include:
- Developing our online catalogue
- Continuing digitisation projects
- Launching innovative online help and expertise
What happens next
Our proposals are in consultation until September, at which point we will review all feedback and announce our final decisions. A detailed planning process will follow until January 2010, after which we will be implementing the plans until the end of March 2010.
Have your say
As we have outlined above, our challenge is to reduce our costs by 10% by March 2010 so we meet our operating costs. We very much value your views and are open to discussing the details of the changes and how we minimise the impact on you. However, please bear in mind that we cannot reduce the amount of savings we need to achieve.
How do you feel about our proposals? Please email us with your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see the presentation on the proposed changes given by our Director of Operations and Services at the public meeting on 2 July.
- Presentation on the proposed changes (PDF, 317.77kb)
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