Early in 2001, after a damning public report by the Auditor-General, the Australian Federal Government was forced to abandon its highly promoted “whole of government” infrastructure outsourcing initiative. This about-face was greeted in the press with reports that the initiative was a ‘fiasco’. Yet a four-year case study of the initiative suggests a more complex picture. The initiative can be viewed in a quite different light on the basis of comparisons with a contemporary survey of 240 Australian organisations engaged in IT outsourcing. This reveals that many of the negative outcomes associated with this ‘fiasco’ are typical of those experienced by large Australian organisations. This has important implications for decision makers confronted with choices about sourcing IT service delivery.