Employees at the California Department of Insurance are being handed $1,000 iPads, despite the state’s crushing budgetary problems.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the spending spree:
The iPad 2s were handed out as part of a pilot program to “increase efficiency” and enhance the department’s “paperless/green initiatives,” according to department spokesman Byron Tucker.
Tucker said the iPads were not paid for with money from the state’s primary spending account because the Insurance Department is funded through fees and assessments on the insurance industry.
Lawmakers and the California governor’s office expressed outrage over the purchases, the paper reports:
“I have one on my desk that I purchased with my own money at Target for $600,” said gubernatorial spokesman Gil Duran. “They are useful toys, but spending state money on them in these economic times is a bad message to send.”
The iPads cost more than typical versions because they were “business models” that included security upgrades and other additions, Tucker said.
And those aren’t the only Apple products being used in the department, which also purchased 16 iPhones for a total of $4,161.