A million dollars is currently sitting in a City of Ballarat bank account set aside for a service that the council no longer offers.
The funding originally comes from Federal coffers but there is no other detail about the money or the reasons behind its transfer to council.
In acknowledge-ment of this over allocation, Council has made provision in its accounts for a potential recall of unexpended fundingCity of Ballarat annual report
The sum is highlighted in the municipality's latest annual report, which was approved by councillors at an ordinary council meeting last week.
The report, which outlines council's spending, income and performance for the past financial year, acknowledges "Commonwealth grant allocations to services no longer provided by Council".
Listed under "other provisions" in the Financial Report section of the document, it continues:
"In acknowledgement of this over allocation, Council has made provision in its accounts for a potential recall of unexpended funding."
In an initial conversation in town hall, The Courier was told the funds may relate to a Home and Community Care program that the council used to provide.
The Home and Community Care program - otherwise known as HACC - was phased out in mid 2016 when it was replaced with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).
However, the council's director of business services Glenn Kallio declined to confirm subsequent inquiries about the funding's origin.
A City of Ballarat spokesperson simply said the funds related to contractual matters and no further detail would be provided.
The outstanding sum was highlighted in the annual report, including its Commonwealth source, and there is no suggestion of any council wrongdoing.
Inquiries about the funding sent to various Federal departments also proved fruitless. An initial media request sent to the Treasury with details from the annual report was re-redirected to the Department of Infrastructure.
A spokesperson for the Department of Infrastructure responded: "We aren't sure why Treasury passed you onto us, but you would probably be best to talk [to] the Department of Social Services or Health."
A Department of Health spokesperson eventually responded:
"We can confirm that Ballarat City Council is a provider funded to deliver services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP), however you will need to contact the Council for more information with regard to the specific figure cited in their annual report."
It comes at a time when million dollar sums from the Commonwealth have been widely discussed. Councillors at Moyne Shire rejected that sum when allocated to their municipality for drought relief, saying their region was not suffering from a lack of rainfall.
FULL COVERAGE OF THE CITY OF BALLARAT'S PERFORMANCE
The Federal Government also had to overturn a decision not to give Moira Shire the same sum of money, acknowledging that the area's agriculture industry was suffering from the dryer-than-usual conditions.
The Courier made one final attempt to confirm whether there was any record at Federal level of over-allocation of $1million of funds to the City of Ballarat.
While the department can confirm Ballarat City Council delivers services under the CHSP, we cannot comment on the figures cited in the council's annual reportDepartment of Health spokesperson
However, a Department of Health spokesperson did not directly answer the question and instead reiterated its previous response.
"While the department can confirm Ballarat City Council delivers services under the CHSP, we cannot comment on the figures cited in the council's annual report."
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