A quartet of Leicester City councillors are currently trialling Apple’s iPad, and if successful the fondle slab could be issued to 50 other council members. But a council spokeswoman told The Register this morning that a report in today’s Daily Mail, which made the claims, was inaccurate. She then went on to explain that only …
There's a big difference between 'could' and 'will'. If you factor in the amount of paper, toner, electricity and maintenance that each person uses and then multiply it my the forecasted number of iPadd users, you could very well hit the £90k mark (particularly if you include the working time of the tech support bod).
However, factor in the training, maintenance, tech support, power requirements and accessories (nice case, screen protector, combined fountain pen-stylus device) and the fact that a considerable amount of documents will still be flippin' well printed out (probably wirelessly, though) and that £90k saving starts to diminish.
It's good that someone's investigating the feasibility of such a plan, but, perhaps, as with electric cars, we're just not quite ready for it yet.
Seem to remember an almost word-for-word story about councillors in Cambridgeshire shortly before the iPad was launched.
Just another distraction from doing REAL work
All the Lemon toys will do is to provide distractions at council meetings.
In all this paper saving did anyone really figure out the running costs of all these things? Since council is a business type activity surely they should consider a business solution - RIM.
Of course they could see all those girlie pictures, etc. It's unlikely they read all the handouts so why do they think they will see more on a small screen.
A waste of tax payers money.
an inaccurate article? in the daily mail? surely not. usually it is the very epitome of truth and correctness.
oh wait, no it isn't, it's britain's longest running recruitment leaflet for the BNP.
I'm sorry... but can somebody please say it. How much are Apple paying for all this publicity and sh*t.
Why by all these iPads when a netbook can do a better job at half the price?
I can understand their need for such a device that can view PDFs in a meeting... commonly referred to as a laptop... but limited functionality luxury items like the ipad... why don't we just buy a couple of helicopters whilst we're at it because the mayor's car is obviously unsuitable for the task based on their tech criteria for purchasing.
Councillors have to have the best kit because
they are such very important people... Just ask them: they'll tell you...
This is just one of the exceptions when we get to find this stuff out...this mentality makes me realise why I pay so much in Taxes and receive so little in return...
Not really fussed about the iPad so I' don't know the specs but it doesn't encrypt data does it? So it's not secure, so any of these that are lost containing confidential info will be exposed for all and sundry will they not? So, they're not following governmental guidelines?
The new parking scheme in the Westcotes ward that most have repeatedly said "no" to will pay for them...
'scuse my language but : w*nkers.
Why so negative?
Why are people so negative about councils improving the way they work?
If they have a document on the iPad it can be edited, searched easily, emailed and so on. Paper can't do that and lugging a laptop around is a pain too (especially through doors with security locks).
Tablets have a place in the paperless office, just because Microsoft didn't understand tablets and produced a rubbish tablet OS doesn't mean everyone else is prone to failure. If anything Microsoft had no Apple or Xerox to rip off this time.
Even with the Slate they still don't seem to understand that desktop design paradigms don't work on mobile touch screen devices. You have to scrap the existing interface and start again!
Just make all of the Council's financial transactions value > 5 quid available to anyone via a public portal.
After all, it is not the Council's money because they don't have any, it is our money and we want to know how it is being spent.
Megaphone...because someone needs to listen.
Paperless meetings do not work. This is a very stupid idea. Each counsellor has to be seen to be doing something, making notes, action points, etc for the meetings. Seeing as typing on an iPad adds about a day to any short meeting, they'll make notes with pens and paper. And as opposed to trying to remember which cases those notes related to, and copying text from the screen, from week 2 people will start turning up with paper copies they printed.
How do I know this? Because before it was iPads it was notebooks, then laptops, etc - and between them they have **INCREASED** the amount of paper used in the average office. This is a criminally stupid waste of money - tell you what I'll match every pound it saves over the promised £90k if the 'techie type' who wrote the report will match every pound it wastes for charity.
I notice that, according to The Telegraph, these are 64GB iPads. Just how many PDFs are they expecting to be e-mailed?
I'd love to be in charge of configuring these new toys. They'd get iBooks for the PDFs, accounts for the corporate IMAP server, maybe corporate LDAP and CalDAV, and everything else would be locked down and passcoded.
No Safari, no iTunes, no YouTube, no App Store and no loading your own music or movies. I'd be interested to see how keen the councillors would be on the 'productive', 'money saving' tools then.
Why doesn't The Register simply raise a Freedom of Information request and as for the sums?
Surely the ipad is currently not secure enough to be connected to or receive/store data from Government networks that require up to restricted level security. Is Leicester City Council somehow exempt from GCSx CoCo compliance?
Leicester City Council are not exempt.
That is, until an employee leaves an iPad or other storage device on a bus (opps, silly me) in a taxi or in a First Class rail compartment. THEN they're exempt!
Oh, so close ...
How else are councillors to be able to view their pronography whilst sitting in Council Meetings to discuss leaf blowing in the city parks?
You've not factored in the cost saving of the Councillors equipment.
I work in a council in IT, Councillors get the following.
1. PC in their home
2. Multipurpose printer/copier/fax
3. Digital Camera???
4. Broadband connection
5. Routing equipment and associated security bumph to automatically encrypt and secure.
The cost of this and yearly upkeep is more expensive than a basic ipad with 3g.
On top of all the equipment they get in the home there is a support costs, where IT staff home visit to repair equipment, not ideal during working hours (seeing as most Councillors also have a day job, unless they are already techno confused pensioners).
So I can see how an easy to use ipad could be perfect! I have seen trials of blackberry's, not ideal when the average Councillors dexterity is about the same as your average 70 year old.
The inside view
As one on the inside i can say that everyone from street cleaners up has a blackberry at Leicester city council and can handle them just fine thank you very much. As far as councils go i would not trust a councilor to honestly return 10p to me, and i work with them! Sadly however not for much longer as Ipads seem more important than jobs.
But for a little more info read the link:-
Against the law?
Surely this is against procurement law?
Leicester City councillors eye up iPad to save £90k a year
I used to work for Leicester City Council and can confirm that there is a culture of wastefulness when it comes to IT. This is not just the Councillors but also upper-management and in fact entire departments.
Leicester City Council's IT projects and initiatives are rarely thought through fully but they always ensure that the project brief has always got a money-saving benefit written into it. This is usually a figure that is based on largely unsubstantiated facts (and avoiding others) seemingly there to demonstrate a 'benefit' that is required to get the project green lighted. This of course also provides cover against anyone enquiring into why the project was undertaken, a la iPads.
Many of LCC's IT projects fail to deliver all the benefits that they set out to achieve and others are complete failures that become a money pit that is dragged along like a dead dog for years. Some even end up being written off entirely and then more money is allocated into starting all over again with the mantra of using the 'lessons learned'.
Back to the iPads, the supposed ‘saving of money’ is really just a smoke screen to try to dodge criticism over their actions. Councillors have always wanted (and often got) whatever is the latest buzz gadget so they can swan around showing them off without a real concern as to the cost that it puts on the taxpayer.
LCC has trialled tablet PCs in the past from the likes of Dell and HP but there was never a scramble by Councillors to have one before and you could easily argue that since LCC is predominately Windows based (with some Novell on top) that the performance, integration and usefulness of those devices would far outstrip what can be achieved with the non-standard iPad.
In my experience LCC have always ignored the fact that adopting technologies that are outside of their current scope of expertise increases costs. It results in an extra burden on the IT department which means a rise in costs through the extra staff required (or the deflection of staff from their existing core duties) and the training required to support the devices properly.
Also worth noting is the fact that the IT department is told to always ‘jump’ when a call comes in from a Councillor requiring support. Meaning that a disproportionate amount of time is spent supporting them compared to other users in order to prevent a Councillor getting stroppy with the Head of IT and increasing the perceived threat of outsourcing the IT function, it was a genuine fear when I was there.
Looking at the cost saving, all evidence points to the fact that the printing of documents has risen since IT became mainstream and I don't see how that will change with the latest iPad – people like to read from paper. Of all the meetings I attended I rarely saw anyone with a laptop or similar device, mostly it was the case that the meeting initiator would turn up with several printed copies of each document and hand them out to every attendee.
In the end maybe a small saving will be made from the ones that make an effort to be paper free but when you add it all together it is obvious that the supposed £90,000 saving is a complete fallacy as any saving that is actually made in reduced paper consumption will be quickly wiped out by increased costs elsewhere.