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650 Apple iPads to be given to British MPs

PM iPadThe paper Parliament may not be around for much longer. In a bid to cut back on paper and print usage/wastage in and around parliamentary business, Prime Minister David Cameron and 649 of MPs will be kitted out with iPads in place of the low-tech paper documents they’ve been using for generations. At the expense of the tax payer.

Of course it’d be near enough impossible to completely eliminate paper documentation from Parliament, but as TechWeekEurope point out, the focus is on reducing wastage and improving efficiency amongst staff. David Cameron has already been spotted with his own iPad and around 70 members of the select group already tote Apple’s 9.7-inch slate, each of which has allegedly been claimed on expenses.

“The Commission welcomed the Administration Committee’s review of the financial savings and increased efficiency derived from Committee usage of mobile tablet devices,” said the House of Commons Commission.

Although the scheme, which follows on from an overall parliamentary IT upgrade initiated in February, will see 650 MPs receive an iPad for work purposes, only 350 will keep their devices outright, whilst the remaining 300 will be required to return them, which helps reduce the overall cost of purchasing these devices in the first place.

Cost of course is something taxpayers will be keen to know and the budget for a project such as this is expected to come in at anywhere between £260,000 and £429,000, excluding any app/in-app purchases or data bills the parliamentary users might rack up.

We’re not sure yet if they’ll be getting iPad 2s or new iPads. Although we’re all for having a more efficient government, we can’t help but worry that the House of Commons runs the risk of playing host to the sounds of Angry Birds or Draw Something amidst parliamentary debate.

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