TDs to get tablets despite delay

Fri, Oct 5, 2012, 01:00

Senators and TDs are still set to receive tablet computers, despite a tender for some 300 devices being withdrawn by the Oireachtas yesterday.

The public tender for the devices, to be provided for free to politicians, was withdrawn yesterday due to a change in procurement rules.

In July the Oireachtas Commission decided to put the devices to tender. It cancelled the tender yesterday due to a new “framework agreement” by the Department of Public Expenditure under which the devices could be purchased.

However in a statement today, the Oireachtas Commission said it still expected to “complete a tendering process using the framework before the end of 2012”.

The new framework may yield “significant efficiency and cost reductions” so the ICT Unit of the Oireachtas had “cancelled the open tendering process”, it said.

“We believe the minimisation of cost to the taxpayer is paramount, and we regret any inconvenience caused to bidders,” the statement added.

Fine Gael TD John Paul Phelan earlier described the withdrawal of a tender as “common sense prevailing”.

“I simply could not understand the logic behind spending over €100,000 on new technology, when hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country are living on the breadline,” Mr Phelan said in a statement.

Mr Phelan said that every TD and Senator had access to a computer and a mobile phone and there was “absolutely no need” for any additional technology. If they wanted to invest in a tablet it should be “paid for” from their “own pocket” he said.

In a statement the Oireachtas Commission said the purchasing of the devices was “part of a larger project” aimed at “reducing the annual cost of parliamentary printing”.

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