Re: It's Barnet council that has "performnace issues"
Why is it only government customers of Crapita who see to think this is normal? Have Crapita ever successfully completed a project on time and to budget?
You're not looking at it like a consultant. Chances are they were given a spec full of holes and ambiguities and quoted a reasonable price and timescale based on that. Then someone on the government side says "Oops! We forgot this, please add it in" so the cost goes up to pay for the extra work, which of course takes longer.
There are two sides to any large IT cock-up and while Crapita get most of the blame, it's not entirely their fault - someone needs to point a finger at the government procurement people too. As a responsible consultant, you should be looking at the RFQ and highlighting areas where you think they may be deficient, and clarifying anything you think is ambiguous so that both sides agree what it means, all before providing the price and timescale quote. Of course, this takes up more of your time and probably results in a more expensive quote than the competitor who didn't do due diligence, but I'm sure if it was done properly the overall outcome would be cheaper, or at least generate less bad publicity.