Parliamentary Services tests iPads for Canberra

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Parliamentary Services tests iPads for Canberra

Several month trial with officers.

The Department of Parliamentary Services has commenced a trial of Apple iPads with middle and senior officers in a bid to test how the devices might reduce parliamentarians' reliance on paper.

The trial, which started just before Christmas, will also test how iPads connect and run on the Parliament network in Canberra.

The department is responsible for providing ICT services to Parliament House.

"We're conducting a small trial internally to test the use of iPads," department secretary Alan Thompson said.

"I don't know what the future is but it does seem very likely that staff and politicians will want to use [these types of devices].

"We want to test how it can be connected into the network and run a business rather than with heaps of paper.

"We have to get to an endpoint [of the trial] in the next few months but I think it's a very interesting little trial."

Assistant secretary David Kennedy said although the department was testing with iPads, "our intention is to look at the range of mobile computing devices that are now becoming available."

The trial was expected to result in a DPS "assessment" due at the end of next month.

Similar trials have been conducted in Canada, whilst in recent months MP's in Germany and the UK have been granted permission to bring their own tablet computers into parliament.

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