Imagine if this was a corporation, and the execs went to the shareholders and said 'We spent $600 million on software, but it's not going to work. sorry." They'd be out of a job in a flash.
You're right. That's why they wouldn't tell the shareholders in the first place. I don't think the conduct of American business over the last few years inspires any confidence. Besides, is there really much wall between private corporations and public agencies these days? Seems like we get the cream of the crap rising to the top in both worlds.