Smithsonian Fiscal Year 2014 Federal Budget Request Totals $869 Million

April 10, 2013
News Release

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The administration’s fiscal year 2014 budget request to Congress is $869 million, an increase of $59 million from the appropriation enacted in FY 2012—$810 million. For the current fiscal year, the Smithsonian, like all federal organizations, has operated on a continuing resolution at the same level as the 2012 budget, less $41 million due to sequestration. However, the Smithsonian was granted two additions this year: $5 million for the National Museum of African American History and Culture scheduled to open in 2015 and $2 million for roof repairs following Hurricane Sandy.

The Salaries and Expenses request for FY 2014 is $711 million and the Facilities Capital budget is $158 million, which includes $55 million for the construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

Salaries and Expenses

The largest increase in President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for the Smithsonian is the addition of $25 million for STEM programs. This is part of the priority on science, technology, engineering and math education to meet future workforce needs. The Smithsonian is included because it has a track record of successful informal education programs that align with school curricula and a history of partnerships with other non-profit organizations. The Smithsonian is part of the administration’s consolidation of existing federal STEM funds ($180 million) previously divided among 11 agencies and now allocated to three: the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian. 

The STEM initiative will be coordinated by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, which will create new online resources and experiences for students that have a measurable impact, align Smithsonian content with learning standards set by the states and create communities of teachers who may use Smithsonian content and tools to customize their own programs. 

The Salaries and Expenses account includes $13 million for uncontrollable increases in pay, rents and utilities and workers’ compensation (mandatory operating costs). The FY 2014 budget request continues to prioritize the programmatic increase into the broad categories of the Institution’s strategic plan, linking the funds directly to the overall mission.

This year, the Smithsonian will use S&E funds to support the following:

  • $2.3 million for comprehensive digitization to make the collections and the expertise of scholars, scientists, researchers and curators easily accessible online
  • $2.4 million for collections care and $1.5 million for care of the living collection of endangered species at the National Zoo
  • $500,000 for the first phase of a telescope in Greenland that eventually will be capable of observations of supermassive black holes. The project is a partnership between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the National Science Foundation’s polar division that identified this high, dry northern site on Greenland’s ice sheet as the ideal location for this 12-meter radio antenna. Smithsonian also operates telescopes in Chile and Hawaii.
  • $21 million to plan, design and fabricate the inaugural exhibits and educational programs for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The amount also includes $2.7 million as a one-time increase for storage and care of the museum’s collections.

In addition, the Smithsonian is requesting an increase of $4.4 million for facilities maintenance, which includes fire-protection and collection-storage improvements, and $2.7 million for security, research vehicles and safety support services. 

Facilities Capital

Most of the Facilities Capital funds for FY 2014 ($94 million of the $158 million) are directed toward revitalization projects involving major repairs to address significant infrastructure problems. The only construction funding in the budget request is $55 million for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

Among the facilities scheduled for revitalization projects are the National Museum of American History ($24 million for renovation of the west wing public space of the building), the National Museum of Natural History ($17.7 million for public and non-public area work, including HVAC renovation) and the National Zoo ($15 million total, which includes $10 million for structural system repairs and $5 million to upgrade core infrastructure at the Front Royal, Va., and Rock Creek Park facilities).

In addition, $8 million is requested to begin the two-year renovation of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. The building, located on Pennsylvania Avenue across the street from the White House, will close in early 2014 for major renovation work.

A budget summary for the FY 2012 appropriation and FY 2014 request follows:


Fiscal Year 2012 Enacted
Fiscal Year 2014
Salaries and Expenses (S&E)
Facilities Capital
Planning and Design for future projects
Construction (NMAAHC)
Total Accounts



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Linda St. Thomas

(202) 633-5188