The Burning our Money blog has an interesting story about the Parliamentary Information Management System (PIMS). Another example of a government IT system not entirely going to plan. In my experience of the public sector it is usually a case of not setting out clear objectives in advance, too many decision makers being involved and taking too long to decide, and changing the goal posts once it has started.
It’s a sort of home brew mini-Google that doesn’t work half as well as the real thing. Anybody that has ever tried to search the Leeds City Council website will know all about public sector search engines that do anything but give you want you want to know.