Bring back the Office of Technology Assessment, say the Hoofnagles at Scienceblogs. Good point; for about thirty years, the US Congress had its own staff of scientists and engineers whose task it was to provide the legislature with independent technical advice, until it got zapped by Newt Gingrich. I'm sure it would do them some good.
But consider this; whatever the Americans do about this, we still have to hope that the next damn-fool monster database/nuclear express train/phrenological mobile phone/whatever work'o'genius the Government furts up goes through parliament when one or two random members who can read the brief are in town and haven't had their balls tied to a train by the Whips.
The contractorisation of all the executive branch's IT functions, and a lot of its scientific functions, only increases the importance of technical advice to Parliament. If the government is unable to tell vendor-financed crap when it sees it, who else can stop it?