Which brings the question of why they dont get the job. It is government wanting this product, it is government allocating the job to who they choose, it is the gov who choose to outsource. In fact its gov all the way down except for the very end point who are selected by the gov to do the job. Hence it is the gov's fault yet again.
A very fair point codejunky and I'd have to say because there are not enough of them and neoliberalism. Sucessive governments both New Labour and Conservative have outsourced IT to the private sector, a dept with its own in house IT only have to lose one round of comparison to the private sector (who will lie about costs to get the contract) to lose that capability forever. Essentially in house IT keeps its head down and just delivers the goods (hence no press about some depts IT messing up).
Where we are now is is at the epicenter of a number of policies coming home to roost.
neoliberalism - outsource as many gov functions as possible leading to no in house specialism to keep the outsourced firms honest. Gov IT not allowed to bid on other department contracts because unfair.
MBA's - short term profit over long term growth, load a company with debt and keep hoping those contracts roll in.
Government - get rid of civil servants as they are all lazy and feckless, bring in consultants because shiney and hide every mistake behind 'commercial confidentiality'
Its a bit simple to blame the gov all the way down but that fits the narrative that got us into this mess in the first place, gov do a bad job so let the private sector do it they are more efficient - except when they have no compitition either from gov depts able to do the job themselves or other outsourcing firms happy just to slice the pie up without making too many waves.
No, Gov cannot do everything well and nor should it but its needs the capability in house to counterbalance the current excesses of the outsourcing compaines otherwise they will keep getting shafted.