ERG is filing its counter-claim in the Supreme Court today, seeking compensation for the cancellation of Sydney transport's cashless ticketing system, the Tcard.
A Tcard reader (Credit: Tcard)
The NSW government lodged a claim in February with the Supreme Court, hoping to regain losses of around AU$90 million from the project.
The government had cancelled the project in January after NSW Transport Minister John Watkins issued ERG subsidiary ITSL with an ultimatum to meet milestones or provide a plan to show how the system would be delivered.
The plan put forward failed to satisfy the government agency overseeing the project, the PTTC (Public Transport Ticketing Corporation): "Ongoing delays, failures and the company's appalling project management have left the government and the taxpayer no choice," Watkins said of the decision at the time.
In its half year results last month, the company announced it intended to counter-claim for AU$250 million in compensation for the contract termination it considers "unlawful".
"Except for some very brief and perfunctory questioning in relation to the company's plans, the government chose not to engage with ERG at all in looking at how Tcard could be delivered in a co-operative manner," ERG Group chairman Colin Henson said in a statement after the cancellation.
ERG also claimed in its results that the maximum amount of money the government could claim from the group was limited by the contract to AU$44 million — AU$27 million of which has already been seized, meaning the total government gain from the lawsuit could stand at AU$17 million.
Aside from confirming the company will file the documents today, ERG Group finance director James Carroll would not comment on the case or release any details of the counter-claim.
A Supreme Court spokesperson said the government would now have time to prepare its defences for the counter-claim.