An investigation to allegations of leaking documents could take place at Kiama Municipal Council.
The allegation related to an ABC Illawarra news story that claimed "blunders" were made by the council, including overstating its equity by $41 million, putting the value of Blue Haven at $49.1 million higher than it should have been, and counting some property investments twice.
The story was based on an audit of the 2021-22 annual financial statements, which Cr Mark Croxford alleged had been leaked by someone on council - though he did not specify whether it was a councillor or staff member.
That person was alleged to have leaked it to one person, who then in turn passed it onto the ABC.
"Is there an investigation into the leaking of the document whose source ultimately went to the ABC?" Croxford asked CEO Jane Stroud.
"If not, why not? If so what are the potential courses of actions that can be taken against the offender if they are identified?"
Ms Stroud responded by saying it would not be appropriate to discuss any investigations in a public forum like the council meeting.
"I would just point out that the information that was used by the party that we know to have used the information was published for a period of time so it may have been picked up during that time," Ms Stroud said.
"Notwithstanding that, that won't stop council from exploring whether or not that document was on-forwarded now that we know which party it went to."
Ms Stroud also spoke at the council meeting regarding the media reports of the financial statements for 2021-22.
"Kiama Municipal Council is a very intense environment - there are many who might choose to use the even slightest error for their own purposes," Ms Stroud said.
"For the benefit of the public record I reassure everyone that the financial statements for 2021-22 and those of 2020-21 do not incorrectly value Blue Haven and have never showed this inflated valuation."
Ms Stroud said the document in question "is being quoted out of context with the view to forming an alternative narrative".
She said there was an error where the separate assets of the Blue Haven aged care centre and the independent living units had mistakenly been counted as one.
"This mistake was picked up by our own senior financial management staff, pointed out to the auditor as well as our staff and corrected in the general ledger," she said.
"The mistake was described by the Audit Office as a 'misstatement' because that is the language that auditors used. And it was corrected well before any complete draft publicly published or circulated copies of financial statements went anywhere."
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