City authorities released details on Monday of a new mobile phone contract which will see Madrid spend €7.4 million over the next four years to pay for nearly 5,000 work mobile phones for its councillors and civil servants.
Details of the eye-watering figures were published in the Government Gazette, which revealed the new contract signed with mobile firms Telefonica and Ono will set authorities back around €1.8 million annually over the next four years.
The mobile phone deal is part of an overall 'telecommunications and equipment' contract that is worth €43.2 million in total. Although the sum may seem steep in a time of austerity, it is a saving of 54 percent on the equivalent deal signed in 2007.
The need for savings, however, means officials can rule out being given a new iPhone 5 for work, with most of the new mobile lines only catering for calls and text service.
And the City Hall, which has around 30,000 staff on its payroll, will be keeping a tight check on its employees with Telefonica told to impose limits on the phones to restrict internet and email use in order to cut down “the risk of an excessive increase in public spending”.
Authorities in Barcelona will also be spending a hefty whack on mobile phone lines, with around €1.4 million to be paid out each year to cover the cost of 4,000 mobiles.