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Scottish Government Looking to Buy 300,000 Tablets

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The UK's Scottish government has issued a tender to purchase around 300,000 tablet computers for use by civil servants.

The Scottish Government contract, advertised with a closing date for bids in January, is priced at between £27m and £60m, which would buy up to 200,000 iPads at typical shop prices, although trade prices are expected to drive that to 300,000 tablets.

The plan is to use the government's bulk buying capability to drive down the purchase price, then distribute them to government departments that had planned to make separate purchases.

One Scottish Government source told The Scotsman: "Most people can't afford an iPad of their own so they will probably find this step hard to stomach. It looks like a perk. After a period where there has been nothing but austerity cuts it looks like a perk being handed out. In terms of PR, it's a bit of major own goal."

Another politician, Lothians Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale said "I don't think any public money should be spent in this way unless they can show they will save the equivalent amount in printing and paper use. I've not seen anything to suggest they can save £60m in photocopying."

The Scottish Government refused to be drawn on which workers have been singled out to receive the iPads. They also refused to elaborate on how many would be distributed across Edinburgh and the Lothians.

On the web: The Scotsman

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Tags: UK