Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Money down the drain
Regular readers will recall the debate last year about the council’s purchase of 1,400 lap top computers at a cost of £1,462,972 (including all the accessories).
Many of the computers were destined for storage because they were surplus to requirements. The justification for placing such a large order was to get a better discount. That’s like standing in the rain hoping to catch a cold because tissues are on sale!
Documents now seen by Barnet Council Watch reveal that 750 of these computers are still in storage along with 3,750 accessories. Furthermore, the council has run up a staggering bill of £11,314 just for storing this equipment.
Everyone knows that rapidly changing technology means that most computers are obsolete before you have even left the shop. To have 750 of them gathering dust goes far beyond the simple waste of public money. It is gross mismanagement.
Who was responsible for this debacle? According the council report authorising the purchase, it was the Cabinet Member for Resources, Mike Freer.