Near the end of last month the European Services Strategy Unit released a study (PDF) looking at cost overruns in outsourced government IT projects. They looked at 105 contracts and found:
"The average percentage cost overrun is 30.5%.
57% of contracts experienced cost overruns."
Compare this with the results of our study Beyond the Dome: Government Projects £23 Billion Over Budget which looked at 305 big government projects of various kinds and found an average overrun of 33.7 per cent and that 57 per cent of projects overran. The evidence that we are paying a substantial price for endemic overruns becomes stronger by the day. These overruns are a result of the politicians and civil servants responsible failing to properly specify what is desired from a project before the project begins, underestimating costs to get the project approved and paying over the odds in an attempt to solve the problem.