Publication of the independent report into the management of Aberdeen Crematorium

Aberdeen City Council received notification from the Scottish Information Commissioner on 18 July 2017 of its decision relating to the publication of the independent management investigation report by Richard Penn in relation to past practices at Aberdeen Crematorium.

This followed an appeal to the Commissioner against the Council’s decision not to release the report in response to a Freedom of Information request.

The Commissioner decided that the Council correctly withheld some of the information contained within the report but determined that other sections should be released. The Commissioner gave the Council until 1 September 2017 to comply with its decision and the Council was committed to meeting that timeframe. The report was published yesterday (24 August) including redactions in line with the requirements of the Commissioner. The redacted sections primarily relate to personal data which is not otherwise publicly available.

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said: “Over the past few years operations at the crematorium have been transformed and there is now an open and inclusive ethos where staff are encouraged to contribute and challenge.

“Every crematorium staff member is a qualified cremator technician certified to carry out infant and baby cremations. At the inspection of Hazlehead Crematorium in 2016, the Inspector of Crematoria Scotland noted the Crematorium Operational Procedure document as a credit to the authors and one of the most comprehensive and useful guidance and training aids seen by the Inspector at any of the other 28 crematoria in Scotland.

“Those improvements do not in any way compensate for the pain suffered by those affected by past practices but are an indication of the comprehensive measures taken to address the issues identified.”

The report can be downloaded as a pdf on this page by clicking on the file in the top right corner.

The Commissioner’s decision can be viewed at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/ApplicationsandDecisions/Decisions/Decision_Listing.aspx .