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Friday 20 April 2018

TDs to get their tablet computers despite order block

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

TDS are still going to get tablet computers despite the cancellation of the tender to buy them.

The plan to provide the 166 TDs and 60 senators with tablet computers had been approved by the Leinster House authorities last July in an attempt to move to a "paperless" Dail.

However, the Department of Public Expenditure ordered them to drop the tender and instead use a "framework agreement" which allows for bulk purchase by the public service at a cheaper price.

The Oireachtas Commission has confirmed that it now expects to complete the process by the end of the year. No decision has yet been made on whether TDs will be given iPads or another type of tablet.

Sense

But a Fine Gael backbencher criticised the decision yesterday, saying that spending up to €100,000 on tablet computers did not make sense.

Carlow-Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan said that every TD and senator was already supplied with a computer and a mobile phone.

"There is absolutely no need for any additional technology to help us to go about our daily business.

"If TDs or Senators want to invest in a tablet computer for themselves, then it should be paid for out of the individuals own pocket," he said.

The Oireachtas Commission said the tablets would help cut printing costs.

It also believes tablet computers will allow TDs to constantly access up-to-date information on Bills while they move between committees and the Dail chamber.

Irish Independent

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