Some government employees are eligible for HP discounts

Some government employees are eligible for HP discounts

What does the Army's Small Computer Program at Fort Monmouth, N.J., have in common with the Smithsonian Institution, Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia and Riverside County in California?

All four have signed up with Hewlett-Packard Co.'s 8-month-old public-sector employee purchasing program, which lets workers buy an HP Pavilion home PC with monitor and printer for about $700. The workers can also buy digital cameras and other peripherals at the same discount HP gives its own employees'6 percent to 10 percent.

'It lets them take advantage of a wide variety of products that the government purchases anyway,' said Steve Miller, product leader for the Army's Small Computer Program, which adopted the purchasing program about a month ago. 'We feel that it's one more item to use our contracts [for] and help us become a one-stop shop.'

The agencies pay nothing, said Stephen Young, HP's public-sector manager for employee purchase programs. 'Many state, local and federal employees do not own a computer at home,' Young said. The employees learn more about technology and possibly learn to telecommute, while the agency gains more technically savvy workers, he said.

Miller said the Army sought an employee purchasing program as 'one more thing to help make life easier.' His organization values the technical experience gained at home more than the telecommuting possibility, he said.

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