The Home Office has spent nearly £9,000 buying video iPods for the most senior civil servants in Britain.
The justification for the purchases is that the devices will be used to play training videos in leadership skills and management improvement seminars lasting three to five minutes apiece.
A spokeswoman said that this was more efficient than sending civil servants on day-long management courses.
"An iPod is portable, convenient and just an extension of e-learning," an official told The Times.
Asked whether the civil servants were allowed to upload their own material, the official did not answer directly.
"As with all government equipment issued to staff, Civil Service rules apply. The equipment must be used appropriately and primarily for work-related reasons, " the official said.
Fifty short training videos are being loaded on the iPods and the scheme may be rolled out to the lower echelons of the Civil Service if deemed successful.
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