This could explain the lack of realism by Downing Street, by ministers and by some large suppliers at the outset of the NPfIT in 2002:
"The desirability of the project's aims appears to have overly influenced decision makers, leading to the failure to evaluate other technical options sufficiently and establish realistic budget, timescales and governance for the project."
Source - today's National Audit Office report on the National Offender Management Information System C-Nomis.
Report on C-Nomis - NAO website
C-Nomis prison IT failure - Computer Weekly
Known mistakes repeated on £234m IT system for prisons - Computer Weekly
Why big government IT projects keep failing - public accounts MP - Computer Weekly
Failed £234m C-Nomis IT project - ministers not told the full truth - IT Projects blog
Prisoner database hit by delays, budget blowout - Silicon.com
Offender IT is a spectacular failure - Publicservice.com
C-Nomis a masterclass in sloppy project management - The Register