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Leading charity in crisis as finance chief resigns

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​MSP demands answers as finance director quits

Citizen’s Advice Scotland has been plunged into crisis after its finance director resigned.

Jon Dye’s sudden departure has led to calls from a Conservative MSP for the Scottish Government to investigate the governance of the charity.

It comes on top of the suspension last October of chief executive Margaret Lynch following a spat with the board over finances and campaigning.

Alex Johnstone, Conservative shadow minister for communities and housing, said Dye’s resignation was a deeply worrying development.

“I am concerned about the finances of a charity that has received large funds from the UK and Scottish governments,” he said. “It is time someone stepped in here to provide reassurance.

“If the government does not know why the chief executive was suspended, or why the head of finance has quit, they should be investigating to ensure accountability.”

CAS is an umbrella body for 61 member offices that advise 300,000 people a year on finance, welfare and consumer issues.

They should be investigating to ensure accountability - Alex Johnstone

Colleagues learned of Dye’s resignation in an email from the acting head of human resources. In an email to staff he thanked members of the finance team individually for their hard work and dedication over recent months.

Earlier this month a leaked memo revealed Lynch was suspended after some members of CAS’s board – which is formed from heads of individual Citizen’s Advice Bureaux – questioned whether its anti-welfare campaigning would compromise its substantial grant from the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), which provided around £3.4 million in 2015.

In the two years up to her appointment, the organisation was plagued with problems at senior level, losing two chief executives in quick succession.

CAS said it did not comment on staff changes but said: “In terms of the vacancy of head of finance, we are looking to recruit a replacement as a priority.”