Government departments have been cancelling freelance IT contractors supplied through SMEs and giving their interim staff business to Capita under orders from the Cabinet Office's Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG), in apparent contradiction of government SME policy. (Computer Weekly, 24 June 2011)
When the observed behaviour of a large complex entity seems to contradict its stated goals and policies, we may perhaps infer the existence of some contrary (possibly unstated) goals and policies that override or interfere with the stated ones. This is a classic application of the POSIWID principle.
In this case, however, the Cabinet Office defends the observed behaviour by appealing to a different set of stated goals and policies, relating to cost-cutting. Nevertheless, a representative of one of the affected SMEs suggests that short-term cost-cutting is likely to cost more in the longer-term, as a result of reduced competition.
There are also counter-claims that Capita is merely acting as a gatekeeper, passing on 80% of the business to SMEs, thus possibly contradicting the contradiction.
Thus the interpretation of purpose depends on interpretation of evidence as well as variation in timescale. Applying the POSIWID principle to a politically charged situation like this can often be subject to strong disagreement between stakeholders.