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Published: 2001-05-31 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is to pay $170,000 in damages to Hamilton City Buses to settle a contractual dispute.

The bus company claimed an error in the tendering process for a city bus route had denied them revenue. A mutually agreed independent expert was appointed and determined the loss in revenue at $267,850.

A contingency had been set aside so that payment would not affect budgets for the coming year.

Chief Executive Barry Harris said the Council tendered out more than half its services each year, amounting to $20 million in tenders in the current year.

“In this case Transfund New Zealand contract requirements were technically different and much narrower than more general tender processes. A technicality was misinterpreted in this instance. We are continually reviewing our tender processes to ensure this type of error will not occur again. Our legal advisors have reviewed the processes and put templates in place to help evaluate tenders.”

He said the Council had worked closely with the bus company to reach a satisfactory solution that would maintain uninterrupted bus services for the community, as well as maintaining the good relationship the two organisations had.