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I am deeply disappointed at yet another massive government IT failure, and sadly, not surprised in the slightest. The Canadian government's initiative to consolidate more than 1,500 government websites into a single super site, Canada.ca, is failing.
Allegations of expense scandals in the Senate have shocked many Canadians and rightfully so. Although unsettling, such antics are not an isolated case; they are part of a larger institutional problem with government.
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.