David, a reader, makes this strong point on the blog entry: why governments are persuaded to invest in big high-risk projects – one theory.
“There is one other major difference between private projects and government projects. When a company screws up, it risks losing business. When a government screws up, citizens don’t have a choice to go elsewhere (or at least, most don’t). It’s not like farmers can say to the rural payments agency “We’re taking our business elsewhere”.
“Voting is the closest thing to customer feedback, but effective management of IT projects is not on the average voter’s agenda. Perhaps that’s because they believe that government IT projects inevitably fail, or because they don’t see how vital IT is to positive and effective change within the public sector.”