iPads: Now fighting D.C. government waste (Keith Srakocic/AP)

The Office of the Inspector General, the independent city agency charged with investigating waste, fraud and abuse in government, has issued a solicitation for 15 new iPads, complete with leather smart covers, docks, wireless keyboards, and extended warranties.

Seeing as the iPad is regarded in many corners as an expensive technobauble with limited application in the governmental workplace, I asked Roger Burke, chief of staff to Inspector General Charles Willoughby, to show otherwise.

The iPads, he said, are intended to “bring us into the 21st century.”

Burke said the devices are being shared by the department’s investigators and auditors. When agents go out on interviews, he said, often they go in pairs, with one helping to record and take notes.

”Now with the recording capabilities of the iPads and the note-taking, they can send one out,” he said. “We cut down on manpower that way. ... We just started off with a few to see if they’re practical for our office.”