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Another DSB cock-up – this time to the cost of 500 million kroner

A settlement over the IC4 train debacle entitled the company to savings they failed to use


The IC4 trains have carried more scandals than passengers (Photo: DSB)

August 13, 2014
12:38

by Ray Weaver


DSB has lost 380 million kroner because it failed to use a rebate from the Italian company Ansaldobreda, the maker of the troubled IC4 trains. The lost cash was was part of the settlement that DSB was awarded in 2009.

DSB won total compensation of 2.25 billion kroner, 500 million of which came in the form of a 50 percent discount on DSB's future procurement of spare parts from Ansaldobreda. However, the discount came with a deadline, which ended up expiring at the end of 2013 after the delayed delivery of the IC4 trains made it necessary to extend the original deadline.

When DSB was unable to use all of the funds available, the possibility of other state companies using the funds was examined, but the Transport Ministry decided, under legal advice, that was not possible.

DSB only managed purchases of 240 million, entitling it to a discount of 120 million kroner, meaning the other disappeared down the tracks.

“DSB could not use the full rebate, and when it was found that other state enterprises would not be able to take advantage of the unused portion of the discount, the case had to be shelved,” DSB told Ingeniøren.

“Best available deal”
The original agreement that mandated a time-sensitive discount, the terms of which were dictated by Ansaldobreda, was met with heavy criticism from Rigsrevisionen, the national auditors. DSB said at the time that the deal was the “best available”.

Current DSB maintenance head Steen Schougaard Christensen said that the deal was before his time, but he was sure that all concerned did their best.

“There is no doubt that it would have been better to get the money in cash,” he said. “I do not know what happened during the negotiations, but I am sure they got the best possible deal.”

Crazy train
Venstre transportation spokesman Kristian Pihl Lorentzen said that the lost money was yet another example of DSB incompetence.

“It is a serious matter to lose so much money,” he said. “We were assured that this was a solid deal, but it is yet another example of an agreement with DSB going wrong.”

The scandal-ridden IC4 trains have suffered from costly delays and maintenance issues since the project began 14 years ago. There have been problems with clutches, brakes and computer systems.



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