Buenos Aires' US$274mn payment for computers too high, says local expert

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Buenos Aires city government will pay US$274mn to distribute 178,000 computers in local schools, which an expert says is a price tag that is about US$185mn too high, media outlet Telam reported.

According to computer and legal expert Ariel Garbarz, the city's laptop purchases will come in at US$154mn-216mn overpriced - or an average of US$185mn - when considering reference prices and market variations.

Garbarz said that at the Universidad de Buenos Aires research found US$154mn in overpricing, while in comparison to the price paid by the national government for a similar project, the total would come to US$216mn.

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The national government paid US$323 a piece for 250,000 computers, which would cost the municipality US$57.5mn for the 178,000 computers.

Garbarz also questioned the city government's awarding of a five-year contract for full management of the equipment to a private company - Prima, which is a subsidiary of Grupo Clarín and was the only company to present a bid.