Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Statement on Sequestration Planning and Implementation

April 16, 2013
News Release
Social Media Share Tools

Our mission is to make the resources of the Smithsonian available to all Americans and to help our country address critical challenges through programs in education, the humanities and the sciences.

There is no question that sequestration will slow our progress and place limits on our ability to serve the American people. The significant funding cuts will affect essentially everything we do.

The Smithsonian did its best to anticipate sequestration—a 5 percent reduction to our federal budget, which amounts to about $41 million from March through September 2013. We already made reductions to save money, including:

  • instituted a hiring freeze
  • restricted staff travel and training
  • cut funds for facility maintenance and new equipment purchases
  • reduced investments for research, education and outreach
  • reduced funds for contractors

However, now that the full impact of sequestration is clear, we have no choice but to make more tough decisions for the remainder of fiscal year 2013 (through Sept. 30).

In response to the ongoing funding cuts, the Smithsonian will:

  • occasionally, temporarily close some sections of our art museums, after May 1 through the end of this fiscal year, due to reduced numbers of security guards
  • shrink our research capacity
  • slow the process of digitizing our collections

Since 1846, the Smithsonian has served our nation as a source of inspiration and discovery. Our goal is to create a Smithsonian for the 21st century that gives all Americans a chance to benefit from this remarkable institution’s collections and expertise.

Unfortunately, the realities of sequestration funding cuts are going to limit progress toward our goal.

# # #