Oh boy oh boy - how do we clean this up..
OK, I've seen a number of crackers here, I'll limit myself to two.
"When is somebody going to challenge the Tory party's complete lack of IT understanding?"
Strangely enough, the Tories are actually responsible for the single largest innovation in government IT. The Government Secure intranet (aka GSi) was requested, designed and built during Tory reign. They had the smarts to leave the project alone until it was ready, instead of blathering about it ad infinitum in the press. They were also smart enough to go to vendors instead of spending the money on costly management consultants. Sure, they may not know about IT per se, but with roots in business they have at least a clue.
New Labour introduced their buddies at Microsoft to the platform. The best known instance of that is the Government gateway which has technically no need at all to be dependent on IE.
"It's actually a lack of proper management / change consultancy* that has resulted in the big IT vendors shoeing in systems"
BS. It is a lack of knowledge of the *civil servants* which causes this - created by the same Management Consultants you're so keen to give work because there's never been any knowledge transfer. The arguments for using consultants is the same as for outsourcing and privatisation: if it goes wrong it gives politicians someone to blame instead of taking the hit themselves like responsible adults, and so enormous amounts of tax money have been paid to consultants for sometimes utterly bizarre work.
Remember the "speed camera" study which proved that adding cameras "saved lives"? If you get a document with a fairly simple premise and you find that 50% of it is spent explaining how they got to those (wrong) figures you know precisely that it wasn't a study - it was a conclusion needing a defense.
Remember the ID cards? Check out who did the feasibility study, and who got the work afterwards.
Government procurement? Why did that study not pick up all those fun things which later required expensive change control? Surprise..
Use of Open Source in government? eGIF has been around for a long time, but show me ANY consultancy that is going to suggest something that isn't going to keep them in business with patching and fixing for a long time. It's the ideal dependency generator. Besides, they need a return on investment on all the costs sunk in buying Microsoft tools so there's no way they'll advise using something that is more stable and cheaper to the tax payer.
Please don't sing praises of management consultancies. I haven't come across an honest one yet when it comes to government work. For them, 'ethics' is a sales term, not an operational parameter. It was a good move to put an ex Management Consultant as head of NAO because it means a lot gets 'missed'.
But hey, it's a living. Politicians have to retire somewhere too..