The €55m e-voting fiasco could become even more expensive because the machines may now be too old to sell. The Government last night admitted it might be forced to pay someone to dispose of 7,500 machines languishing in storage for the past decade. The reason is because the machines are so out of date that finding a buyer may be impossible and they would have to be disposed of at great expense. The Department of the Environment yesterday sought expressions of interest for the ‘sale or recovery’ of 7,500 machines and associated equipment including cases, storage trolleys and tables.
Ideally, officials want a company to buy the lot and ship them abroad for reuse or recycling, but the fact that they are 10 years old could mean there is no interest and a specialist contractor would have to be paid to dispose of them.
“The decision has been taken to scrap them and we cannot keep paying storage costs indefinitely. They have to be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner,” a department spokesman said. “The purpose of this tendering process is to see if we can get some economic benefit. If we can’t, we have to make a call on how to get rid of them. “We may have to pay to dispose of the machines, but we will wait and see what comes out of the tendering process first. It’s important we try to get some economic benefit from them.”