Infant Cremation Commission - Scottish Government Response
1. The Infant Cremation Commission, chaired by the Rt. Hon. Lord Iain Bonomy, was established in April 2013 to examine the policies, practice and legislation related to the cremation of infants in Scotland. In the course of its work the Infant Cremation Commission has had the opportunity to consider the report of Dame Elish's Mortonhall Investigation.
2. The Infant Cremation Commission has now completed its work and Lord Bonomy provided a copy of the Commission's report to Scottish Ministers on 12 June
3. The Scottish Government accepts all recommendations of the Infant Cremation Commission without reservation. The work of the Commission has clearly identified actions which can be taken by Government or by others to address the sort of failings and inconsistent practice that has given rise to the events that have emerged in recent years.
4. Annex A to this document provides detailed comments from Scottish Government to each of the Commission's recommendations. We have set out clearly how each recommendation will be taken forward, and by when.
5. A key strand of activity relates to the establishment of a National Committee, headed by a Scottish Government official, to oversee the implementation of many of the recommendations. A National Committee will be established as a priority and the Committee will be tasked with developing an Action Plan setting out how each recommendation it is responsible for will be progressed. Many of the comments in the attached table therefore refer to the Committee and the Action Plan.
6. A second key strand of activity relates to legislative change. The Government has already committed to a new Burial and Cremations Bill. This new primary legislation will be a vehicle for all of the recommended legislative changes. The Government plans to issue a public consultation on the Bill by the end of 2014. Many of the comments in the attached table therefore refer to this upcoming legislation.
7. The Government is keen to ensure that affected parents, or their representatives, are involved in this work. The Commission has identified specifically where parents should have an opportunity to be involved, and the Government is very happy to support this. Affected parents will have a place on any of the new groups or committees if they want it.
8. The National Committee will report to Government on an annual basis, and these reports will be published on the Scottish Government website so that progress can be monitored by any interested person.
17 June 2014
Link to the published Report of the Infant Cremation Commission: www.scotland.gov.uk/infantcremationreport
Email: Alison Kerr