Edinburgh science body urges new budget model

Alasdair Macnab of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: 'I'm proposing another system. If I know the actual cost of outcomes, I can start prioritising'

Alasdair Macnab of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh: 'I'm proposing another system. If I know the actual cost of outcomes, I can start prioritising'

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A PUBLICLY funded scientific centre in Edinburgh has called on the Scottish Government to adopt a new financial model that has already attracted ­attention from authorities in Malaysia.

Alasdair Macnab, a trained management accountant and director of corporate services at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), developed his budgeting model following a peer review at the centre in 2009.

Designed for public bodies, it identifies and aggregates the cost of all activities delivering strategic objectives.

“Budgeting at the moment is still about what happened last year, plus or minus,” Macnab said.

“All it does is reinforce inefficiency. I’m proposing another system. If I know the actual cost of outcomes, I can start prioritising.”

The model is being adopted by the finance ministry of the Malaysian government, which was alerted to its existence through Macnab’s lectures as a fellow at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. Delegates from Malaysia have twice visited RBGE to work out how they can best apply the approach.

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