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Review of Treasure Trove Arrangements in Scotland

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REVIEW OF TREASURE TROVE ARRANGEMENTS IN SCOTLAND

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

GENERAL

I recommend a clear and authoritative statement of policy, affirming the Scottish Executive's commitment to the preservation and protection of Scotland's portable heritage and public access to it. ( Paragraph 6.2)

I recommend that action is taken to ensure that the development of the arrangements for Treasure Trove is fully co-ordinated with, and those arrangements are consistent with, the new museums strategy and the related Action Plan that is proposed, once that issues from the Scottish Executive. ( Paragraph 6.5)

I recommend that a Code of Practice should be produced covering all aspects of the Treasure Trove system in Scotland. ( Paragraph 6.6)

FINDING AND REPORTING

I recommend the creation of a clear statutory reporting requirement to apply to all finders, whether chance finders, metal detectorists or archaeologists in the course of any fieldwork/excavation. There should be a time requirement for reporting and offence provisions covering both failure to report and possession of unreported finds. Removal of finds from the Scottish jurisdiction without reporting should be prohibited by law, with penal sanction. ( Paragraph 6.12)

CLAIMING AND DISCLAIMING

I recommend that the criteria for claiming should be defined and articulated as clearly as possible and they should be publicised. They should relate to the "significance" of a find. The guidance in the 1999 information booklet on Guidelines for Fieldworkers, should be retained meantime, informed as appropriate by the National Audit definitions. Consideration should be given to an expert consultation exercise to devise more specific criteria. ( Paragraphs 6.18 and 6.19)

I recommend that the claiming procedure should also be more clearly stated. ( Paragraph 6.20)

I recommend that the Treasure Trove Advisory Panel should only be consulted exceptionally about the claiming of finds in difficult or unusual cases and that consideration should be given to producing appropriate internal guidance. ( Paragraph 6.24)

I recommend that the existing delegation to the Secretariat of authority to disclaim finds should be maintained, it continuing to be open to the Secretariat to consult the Q&LTR's advisers (the Panel and the Q&LTR's solicitor) about disclaiming, as necessary. ( Paragraph 6.27)

I recommend that there should be appropriate consultation with and information to local museum(s) before and after a find is disclaimed. Finders should be kept fully informed throughout process, including if possible being provided with information about the object. There should also be appropriate acknowledgment of their reporting of the object. ( Paragraph 6.27)

ALLOCATION

I recommend that there should be standard, basic allocation criteria and a fast-track procedure for normal cases, with more detailed criteria and more complex procedure only necessary for the smaller number of contested cases. ( Paragraph 6.29 and see Paragraphs 6.30 and 6.46-6.47 further as to criteria and procedure.)

I recommend that the approach to the allocation of objects, as between the national museum and local museums or between separate local museums, should be consistent with the policy and strategic approach to the organisation and functions of museums in Scotland. As the relevant review and the preparation of an Action Plan remain to be completed I do not feel able to offer a final concluded view on what should be the criteria that should be applied by the TTAP and the Q&LTR to determine the allocation of TT finds in cases where more than one museum applies for allocation. ( Paragraph 6.35)

I recommend that wherever possible consideration should be give to the use of joint ownership or loan arrangements to secure resolution of otherwise contested allocation. ( Paragraph 6.31)

I recommend the retention of existing criteria relating to "special" circumstances, such as special conservation requirements, preservation of integrity of assemblages and research. ( Paragraph 6.32)

I recommend retention of the current arrangements for review and appeal. ( Paragraph 6.49)

I recommend that consideration should be given to all finds from archaeological excavations being dealt with by a single Panel. ( Paragraph 6.50)

I recommend that consideration be given to the introduction of follow-up or audit arrangements, specifically relating to TT finds. ( Paragraph 6.51)

VALUATION

I recommend that the TTAP should make greater use of outside experts and consideration should be given to establishing a list of approved experts who should be consulted on values. ( Paragraph 6.53)

REWARD

I recommend that rewards should continue to be based on market value. ( Paragraph 6.54)

I recommend the retention and clarification of arrangements for the abatement or non-payment of rewards. Finders should continue to be made aware of the option to decline a reward. ( Paragraphs 6.55 and 6.56)

I recommend that the process of valuation should be more transparent and finders who are eligible to receive a reward should have greater opportunity than at present to be informed of the indicative valuation and to challenge it. ( Paragraph 6.58)

I recommend that the system should provide other forms of reward or recognition than financial reward. ( Paragraph 6.59)

ORGANISATIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

I recommend the retention of the TTAP, clear restatement of its responsibilities and that consideration should be given to merging the FDP with the TTAP. ( Paragraphs 6.60 and 6.61)

I recommend that the Panel should sit more frequently than at present - say six times a year. ( Paragraph 6.62)

I recommend that the Panel should be chaired by an independent chair and should have at least one independent "lay" member, but that otherwise its members should be representatives of the main relevant constituencies. The number of members should be increased. The Chairperson should be remunerated. ( Paragraph 6.63)

I recommend that the position of the TTAP Secretariat be clarified and that the wider role that the Secretariat plays in the system should be recognised by re-badging it as the "TT Secretariat" and appointing one of its staff as "TT Registrar". ( Paragraphs 6.68 and 6.69)

I recommend the appointment of Liaison Officers or Co-ordinators to be located around Scotland. ( Paragraph 6.70)

I recommend that time targets should be set for the process in Scotland. ( Paragraph 6.73)

PUBLICITY

I recommend that an annual report should be produced. ( Paragraph 6.75)

I recommend that representative bodies, such as the NCMD should be encouraged to give more publicity to the Scottish TT system and to re-draft/expand their conduct codes to cover Scottish circumstances specifically.