Britain could save huge amounts of money on Government IT, not least by demanding the source code to large projects and reusing it for future projects. As far as I can tell (and I’ve got no direct experience) most government IT projects are very large “CRM” systems with domain-specific functions: they store people’s names and addresses with associated data, and then have extra functions for the project itself. It seems a waste to pay for this to be rewritten and slowly debugged again and again.
I would much prefer the same money and programmers were used to improve systems, rather than just make the same mistakes again and again.
In this case it appears that a government project wasted ¬£9,000,000 writing a search engine, when they could have bought a Google appliance for a few thousand.