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Moscow Region Duma Going Ahead With iPad Order

In the new order, the 32-gigabyte iPad 3s will be classified "fixed assets" to help reduce paperwork and assist with modernization, a Duma representative said. Andrei Makhonin

The Moscow region Duma has said that it will go ahead with plans to buy iPads for the region's lawmakers, despite regional anti-monopoly authorities canceling the purchase.

The regional legislature originally ordered 80 Apple tablet computers and accessories on Nov. 9, citing a maximum price of 3 million rubles ($97,000) for the gadgets and referring to them as "souvenirs," according to the Lenta.ru news portal.

"We are buying necessary equipment for the Duma, but we are also giving a nice New Year's gift to our deputies," the Duma's press service told Moskovskiye Novosti at the time.

On Monday, the regional branch of the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service ordered that the order be cancelled due to errors in the "technical documentation" following a complaint from RosPil, an anti-corruption foundation set up by opposition leader Alexei Navalny that draws attention to unjustified expenses by state bodies.

Late the same day, the Moscow region legislature announced that it would correct the errors and go ahead with the iPad order.

In the new order, the 32-gigabyte iPad 3s will be classified "fixed assets" to help reduce paperwork and assist with modernization, a Duma representative told Interfax, stressing that the regional legislature — not lawmakers — would own the iPads.

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