Can government really deliver? Evidence suggests the answer is a resounding "no." This is plain to see for anyone who peruses the catalogue of reports from Canada's Office of the Auditor General, an independent federal body charged with reporting to parliament on the performance of various government programs and initiatives. We did just that -- and it's not a pretty picture. It's hard to imagine a private company staying in business for long if it behaved this way. But therein lies the problem. Unlike a private company, a government can't go out of business. And government typically operates in a monopoly environment protected from competition so the consequences of mistakes and inefficiencies tend to persist.