THE government is in talks with Tasmanian building company Fairbrother to secure compensation for a construction oversight in the new Risdon Prison complex, which meant the maximum security cells were not escape-proof.
In October 2010 it was discovered that inmates could escape from cells in the $100 million prison by pulling the toilet and some plumbing from the wall.
The prison's 69 inmates were moved back to the neighbouring Ron Barwick Prison after an inmate was found to have escaped his cell in the middle of the night.
The cost of fixing the problem and providing alternate accommodation for the inmates was estimated at $2 million.
At the time, Corrections Minister Nick McKim said the government would consider legal action against the builders.
Then prisons director Graeme Barber was reported as saying that inmates would have been able to quickly breach the cells, and he was bitterly disappointed with the fabric of the prison.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said legal discussions were ongoing.
"The department is undertaking ongoing `without prejudice' commercial discussions with the managing contractor regarding the resolution of this matter," she said.
Fairbrother was awarded the contract in 2003 and the new prison was completed in 2006.
In 2011 former Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Palmer released a report criticising Tasmania's prison system, and recommending a further $20 million upgrade to the new prison complex.
Hansen Yunken Pty Ltd was named the managing contractor for the first stage of that upgrade last month.