I've heard about that awful EHR (Electronic Health Record) integration effort between the Veterans Administration (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) for years. It's a failure of a lot of things, but if open source is even on the list of those things, it's low on the list. At the top of the list is dotted lines and bureaucracy, of course. Heck, IT projects often go off the rails, particularly big expensive ones. Let alone one done for the Department of Defense (DoD). And of course, it's not just the DoD, it's also an inter-department collaboration. Doomed for failure, unless it's managed excellently.
It appears that one big reason that this integration project is so hard is because the VA can't compete when it comes to process and bureaucracy. They don't have nearly as large a budget. This quote is telling:
"The iEHR demise was expected by all, accordingly," one VA source said. DOD officials "outspend, outtalk and outlast us at every engagement. We try to emulate much of their process-based decision-making as if we could afford to. We can't. The overhead is crippling, and we are not funded equivalently."
It pains me to see any IT project that gets out of control and ultimately fails. I hate it even worse when it's the government. As a veteran, I especially hate to see this one. And as an open source user, contributor and advocate, Oracle blaming that massive failure on open source adds insult to injury.