The Nat. Cemetery System computer systems could have interconnects to DoD to automatically "pull" Veteran (retired and active) and load to a pool where DD-214 and other eligiblity information could be gathered through fully automated interconnects to partner agencies that commonly provide eligiblity data to VA by FAX (DOJ, IRS, SSA, DoD, etc.)
An "inteligent" system could make a preliminary eligiblity determination and keep that information up-to-date as information flows into any interconnected system. That way VA could have immediatly available records and information in front of Burial Schedulers and Memorial Program Service personnel when a death is reported. The information could be relied on and only a final review and human "approval" given to move forward. The work currently done by over 200 people could be accomplished by one!
1. This would speed the delivery of benefits and reduce the cost of the man-power needed to research eligiblity on each case.
2. Funeral Homes could be empowered through an interface to NCA systems to schedule the burial and order the headstone/markers for eligible persons directly without the need for a large National Cemetery Scheduling Office (NCSO - St. Louis, MO).
3. Currently eligiblty documention is provided through the Funeral Home (FAX) or by Next-of-Kin through submissoin of VA Form 1330 (application for monument) by FAX or by mail. The documentation provided are often photocopies that are "uncertified" and assumed valid "at face value." VA could actually be burying folks that have not earned the benefit.
In short, the above would reduce operating costs in VA National Cemetery dramatically reducing or removing the NCSO from the picture, ensuring only valid beneficiaries get the benefits, and improving delivery of the benefit in terms of accuracy and time to delivery. Current processes include a number of transcription steps that insert human error into the process. It would be a "jagged pill to swallow" however.