Report | Dec. 20, 2013

Assessment of Arlington and Soldiers' and Airmen's Home National Cemeteries DODIG-2014-026

Evaluations

 

Objective

We performed this assessment of Arlington and Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home National Cemeteries using the Army Directive 2010-04 as a guide for the evaluation as well as the adequacy of current Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) outreach practices.

Observations

We found Arlington National Cemetery leadership satisfactorily complied with Army Directive 2010-04. ANC has made great progress since the June 10, 2010 directive publication in their overall operations.

Recommendations

We recommend the Secretary of the Army:

  • Explore funding options to allow ANC to sustain and modernize their operations.
     
  • Continue to express support for the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act granting concession authority to ANC.
     
  • Coordinate with the National Park Service to develop mutually agreed upon standards for appearance of the grounds in the Arlington National Cemetery complex.
     
  • In coordination with the Office of the Secretary of Defense, coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget to implement interagency best practices for contracted services supporting Arlington National Cemetery to ensure efficient and effective operations.

We recommend the Executive Director for Arlington National Cemetery:

  • Shift focus from major operational and personnel change to stabilizing the greater cemetery operational enterprise and make minor adjustments as required.
     
  • Develop and implement a single data entry record management system.
     
  • Optimize and assess the effectiveness of current processes and manpower levels, work with the military services, and assess alternative scheduling options to reduce the backlog of those waiting burial.

Management Comments

The Executive Director for Arlington National Cemetery and Army National Military Cemeteries, the Secretary of the Army, and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness provided comments to this report. Management concurred with all but one recommendation in the final report. The one non-concurrence was redirected to the Secretary of the Army for response. Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Atlantic Division, provided unsolicited comments. The full reproduction of the comments may be found in this report.

Based on input from management, we:

  • Redirected one recommendation to the Secretary of the Army.

This report is a result of Project No. D2013-D000SPO-113.000