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Army orders changes for Arlington

Aug. 4, 2010 at 7:56 AM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Widespread changes have been ordered for Washington's Arlington National Cemetery following a report that detailed multiple abuses, the U.S. Army says.

The secretary of the Army has ordered the changes to combat what investigators termed a "general breakdown in sound business practices," The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Army procurement officials said the cemetery's former superintendent steered no-bid information technology contracts to "select vendors."

The cemetery spent millions of dollars to digitize its burial records but got nothing in return and more than 200 graves were unmarked or mislabeled, the procurement officials said.

At a Senate hearing last week the former deputy superintendent of the cemetery, Thurman Higginbotham, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Higginbotham declined to answer questions about his role in approving millions of dollars worth of botched contracts.

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