Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Christy Clark's "Steve Jobs Plan"

Is Stephanie Cadieux the favourite among Premier Christy Clark's brood of 17 cabinet ministers?

One can only speculate, because Cadieux has two iPads and the rest of her British Columbia Liberal (er, B.C. Christy) cabinet colleagues have just one, according to a list published Oct. 4 after an unspecified political party's Freedom of Information request.

Pity the poor backbenchers, who weren't included in the shipment of 267 purchased by Shared Services B.C. Members of the Opposition NDP caucus are also among the have-nots.

The list does not show which iPad model was purchased, how much the government spent or whether the government took advantage of Apple's free engraving offer. iPads start at $519 each, according to Apple's online store. The pre-HST retail price for the entire shipment would have been at least $138,573.

Of course, the iPad is now an indispensable tool for communication and productivity. But who knows how many of these people are playing Angry Birds or annoying their co-workers with the vuvuzela app on the taxpayer's dime and time.

The list contains 31 entries for David Henry, the team lead, technology support in the Operational Support office of the Finance ministry. But a disclaimer says those tablets are not all his.

"The tablets allocated to David Henry are to be distributed to government sub‐committees under the control of the Legislative Precinct."

There may have been other purchases of iPads or other tablet computers elsewhere in government.

"This list will not include any devices acquired directly by other Ministries and provincial agencies. Each Ministry would have to be approached directly for a list of their tablet purchases."

Oddly, one of the recipients was Philip Steenkamp, a former veteran deputy minister now at Simon Fraser University.

British Columbia government gets into the iPad age

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