Saturday, 17 November 2012
Lawmakers criticized over giving themselves iPad 3 ‘souvenirs’
Moscow regional deputies insists that the iPads they are giving themselves for New Year’s using budget money are strictly for work and will remain state property. The Moscow regional Duma published a state purchase order for 80 32GB iPad 3 tablets, cases and styluses for the 50 deputies and some of the management. The contract’s initial price is 3 million rubles. At first, the regional Duma employee responsible for the auction, Nadezhda Smirnova, explained that the iPads were bought as New Year’s “souvenirs,”. Expensive gadgets are necessary for work It drew the ire of State Duma deputy speaker and United Russia member Sergei Zheleznyak, who argued that “expensive equipment cannot be a gift,” . “Equipment needed for work must remain in the property of the Duma,” he added. He said he has contacted the Duma, where they explained the situation. “The tablets will be bought, but not as presents. They are implementing electronic workflow,” Zheleznyak explained. The Duma confirmed to Kommersant that the iPads will be bought. “The tablets are being bought for the Duma’s needs and will remain the property of parliament. Every deputy, according to Russian law, must hand over to the parliament presents worth more than 3,000 rubles,” head of Communist faction Konstantin Cheremisov said. “The aim for buying the tablets is to move away from paper and the deputies will be able to see all the necessary documents for the meeting on their tablet,” head of A Just Russia faction Ivan Charyshkin added. In the summer, Perm region legislative chamber also wanted to buy iPads for deputies, arguing that they were necessary for work. However, some deputies announced that they were not aware of the plans to buy them and are ready to give up theirs for schools and orphanages. When the anti-monopoly service did not find any violations, the contract was only signed for those deputies who needed an iPad in their work.