Sunday 25 October 2009

Council spends another £278,000 on lap top computers

In July 2008, Barnet Council spent £1.4 million buying 1,400 near obsolete lap top computers, 100 of which are still in storage.

Cabinet Member for Resources, Lynne Hillan, has just authorised the purchase of another 300 tablet PCs at a cost of £277,937 - over £925 each. In her report, Cllr Hillan describes the purchase as “excellent value for money”. A quick visit to PC World would reveal that this purchase represents anything but good value.

Lynne Hillan wants to slash the warden service to save money but then pisses cash away like this.

If this is a sign of things to come under a Hillan leadership, then frankly we are doomed.

Thanks to Statler & Waldorf for the use of their photograph.


Mr Reasonable said...

My first thought was why does everyone need a tablet (touch screen)computer when most people need a standard laptop which can be purchase for half the price. Then I read the papers! Am I right in understanding that the the Council are obliged to buy HP Tablet computers at a cost of nearly £1,000 each because they bought HP docking stations for which only HP computers will fit. They have very successfully painted themselves into a corner where only a single supplier can fulfil the tender making the procurement process somewhat redundant. Not clever and definietly not "excellent value for money".

Don't Call Me Dave said...


Your analysis appears to be completely correct. The idea that a “one size fits all” policy would work in terms of computer procurement was hopelessly naïve, but about par for the course in Barnet.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Mr D as usual,

But it's worse than that. The Council has refused to supply me of any of it's workings / analysis on how it came to this odd decision.

Which organisation, with the range of functions that Barnet has, do you know that would find one model of laptop the best fit for everybody?

Or would buy 1400 of the same up front without testing them in the field?

I've been digging away on this for a few years now. To me, exposing how the Council is so poorly equipped to make a good decision on buying laptops for it's staff shows how it is also nowhere near ready to Future Shape right.

Barnet needs to get it's act together, and learn to walk before it can run.

Don't Call Me Dave said...

The other point to note is that the report states there are still 100 computers left over from last year’s purchase. That might not sound like very much, but when you remember how much the council paid for them, we are talking about £100,000 poured down the drain.

In the private sector, someone would lose their job over such waste.