Labour TD objects to tablet computer scheme

Tuesday 30 October 2012 17.49
The contract for tablet computers has gone to tender
The contract for tablet computers has gone to tender

A Labour TD has written to the Ceann Comhairle objecting to a plan to provide TDs and senators with touch screen computer tablet devices.

Eamonn Maloney said he believes members of the Oireachtas already have sufficient access to appropriate technology.

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, he said it was wrong to make the investment during the current difficult financial climate and members are already provided with a "considerable amount of technology".

"I think the last thing that TDs need is to be running around Kildare Street with tablet computers under their arms and mobile phones in their pockets.

"I think we have to have some sanity in this thing."

Oireachtas Head of Communications Mark Mulqueen defended the provision of the tablets.

Mr Mulqueen said they would save money in the longer term, and that it is part of an overall move towards a paperless office.

"We're trying to wind down a major and historical contract with printers that have been there to provide any of the various papers that go with any parliament... so it actually originates from a cost saving measure."

Speaking on the same programme, he said the contract for the tablet devices has already gone to tender under a new framework for procurement set up by the Department of Public Expenditure.

It is expected that a contract will be placed by the end of November.

Mr Mulqueen said there is a perception that something is being bought for members of the Oireachtas.

"This is no different to having PCs in the building, or any other hardware, and I suppose there might have been the same debate at the time PCs were first provided," he said.

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