Much of the important decision making in the UK is delegated to Quangos. These organisations make recommendations to ministers and civil servants. One that I know well is Becta - it is tasked to oversee the procurement of all information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and e-learning strategy for schools in the UK.
Let's analyse their behaviour using the Cockspiracy principle. Assume that they are in league with the big companies in the education ICT supply chain. We can then deduce that most of their behaviour will be to support the interests of these companies over the needs of schools and students. Now they can't make this too obvious, and may even occassionally have a stressy with their suppliers - hence the fight with Microsoft over licencing fees. That said, overall they will spend most of their time promoting the interests of big companies like Research Machines.
Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying that they really are promoting a cartel in the UK. My thoughts are that they are behaving like this because it is easier for them, plus of course they make a lot of cock-ups and this then results in this behaviour.