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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 March 2006, 10:55 GMT
Agency in budget overspend claims
Scottish Enterprise
Budget concerns have emerged at Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Enterprise could be heading for a 60m overspend of its budget in the coming financial year, according to figures obtained by BBC Scotland.

The disclosure follows recent emergency measures to plug a funding gap of 30m in the agency's current budget.

Scottish Enterprise has denied the overspend and said the figures touted were out of date.

It also said it was in the process of a well-publicised restructuring of current operations.

However, with 10 days to go before the end of the financial year, Scotland's 12 local enterprise companies have not yet been informed by senior management what their budgets will be for 2006/2007.

Despite what they say, there is a budget crisis and it is high time they owned up to it
Alex Neil MSP

Figures suggest that current forecasts put legally committed spending for next year at 29m above the budget.

It has already been announced that 30m of next year's spend has been used to solve an overspend this year - putting a potential overspend in the region of 60m.

There are already strong rumours of major projects being axed and management job losses as a result.

Alex Neil MSP, chairman of the Scottish Parliament's Enterprise and Culture Committee, called for the agency to be open about its budgets.

Speaking to BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme, he said: "Despite what they say, there is a budget crisis and it is high time they owned up to it and gave us a full briefing on what the real situation is.

"There has been a reorganisation going on for five months and we still don't know what the outcome of that is.

"The auditor general said last week that we do not know what value for money we are getting from Scottish Enterprise.

"I think that there is a general view that its performance is poor and the whole organisation currently lacks any integrity."

Mr Neil added that the agency was "badly managed".

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