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A confidential cabinet document that embarrassed the NSW government over its plans for light rail in Newcastle when found in a local electorate office emanated from Premier Mike Baird's own department.
An external investigation has failed to find who is responsible for the breakdown in security over the document, which Labor MP for Newcastle Tim Crakanthorp says was discovered upon moving into his office last year.
But the incident has prompted the secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Blair Comley, to push for "more robust arrangements" in how public servants handle sensitive documents in future.
The December 2013 cabinet document outlined confidential advice to government on the preferred light rail route for Newcastle.
The advice was later rejected by the government in favour of a route that cost almost $100 million more, delivered a slower service and opened up more opportunity for property developers.
Investigation firm CPM Reviews was hired to investigate the potential leak of the minute, stamped with the security number 71.
On Tuesday Mr Comley advised Mr Baird that the company found "insufficient information to identify a NSW government employee who may have been involved in the unauthorised public release".
A spokesman for Mr Baird confirmed the cabinet security number 71 is assigned to the State Productivity Branch – a unit within the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
"This had 12 staff who had the ability to access and print cabinet records, and a further nine who could access a specific record if approved by a primary user," he said.
But he refused to release the CPM report as it names public servants who were interviewed.
This article first appeared on www.smh.com.au
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