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Report Spells Out Cause of Arlington National Cemetery Troubles

Photo: arlingtoncemetery.mil

The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s report on Arlington National Cemetery is in, and it’s not as gloomy as some feared.

NVTC volunteered to conduct the assessment pro bono in the wake of burial scandals and record-keeping debacles. Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC and The MITRE Corporation assisted in assessing the processes and technology in place at the cemetery.

The report found antiquated record-keeping processes and lax oversight to be the major cause of the troubles plaguing the cemetery. The cemetery still uses paper records, and reportedly, only has one fax machine.

The report suggested ANC digitize records, improve scheduling systems and establish a rigorous chain of custody for remains as they are moved from funeral homes to their final resting spots.

Personal accountability and better customer service were also encouraged. The report suggested implementing a call center to handle increasing inquiries from the public.

The cemetery is making efforts to improve conditions. Its top two leaders were replaced over the summer. ANC has also implemented several of the recommendations made prior to the release of the study.

Although costs to make the recommended improvements were not provided, the report urged ANC to make the investments to repair the damage done to the cemetery’s once heralded reputation.

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