Re: Agile and government do not mix
Using agile to deliver to government can work, and does. I've done several Agile projects for government and they've all been successful.
Even with a legislative deadline to meet, Agile is beneficial. It might look like a legislative deadline means fixed schedule and fixed scope, but in reality it doesn't mean fixed scope. The legislation will tell you what you have to do, but not how. With Agile the customer has constant visibility of progress, and it should be clear to them whether you're on course to meet their goals, or whether scope needs to be reined in and they need to settle for a simpler solution.
With waterfall, the customer's taking your word for it that everything is on course. They hope you're being honest and realistic with them. You hope they'll be pragmatic with you when you tell them requirements need to be cut (good luck with that if you committed to a fixed cost, fixed scope waterfall contract).
This failure probably isn't an agile vs waterfall thing. If they get 30 months into an "agile" project and all they've delivered is a glorified appointment booking system, clearly they haven't been doing agile very well. I expect if the same team had tried to do it as a waterfall project they'd have failed at least as badly.