McCaskill Statement on Arlington National Cemetery Progress Report
Senator led Congressional effort to fix oversight failures at cemetery last year
December 15, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today released the following statement in response to two Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports on management improvements at Arlington National Cemetery-reports required under legislation passed by McCaskill to address oversight failures at the cemetery last year:
"These reports show reassuring progress, which is the result of aggressive new oversight. The reports highlight some areas for improvement that I hope Arlington management will take seriously. It's clear that we still have more work to do, and I intend to remain vigilant until I'm confident these failures have been fully addressed."
McCaskill visited Arlington last month and got a firsthand progress report from cemetery officials, saying then that she was "encouraged" by progress being made to address revelations of unmarked and mismarked graves of veterans and their families.
McCaskill successfully passed legislation last year to address oversight failures at Arlington, hold Army officials accountable, and address contracting mismanagement. The Army is required to produce a full report to Congress about their findings and improvements by December 22, 2011.
Reforms and new procedures implemented at the cemetery as a result of McCaskill's efforts include:
- A complete manual inventory, recording, and photographing of more than 259,000 interment and inurnment sites at the cemetery
- A new computerized, auditable system for bringing together all relevant information on each site (burial records, death certificates, site photograph)
- A digital mapping system of each site (with up to three-inch accuracy) and new online scheduling for families of veterans to request interments and determine the design of gravesite markers before the day of burial.
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