Recently, New York Governor (D) Andrew Cuomo pointed out that the US Federal government had 20,000 ventilators in stockpile; however, for some reason the Gov. were holding back on distribution until some ill-defined moment of criticality when the actual critical moment was the then "now".
Taking it a step further, I have seen this kind of situation occur in my own country in the past: emergency supplies donated by EU benefactors during the last emergency (well, take your pick..there were several) were held back from distribution until the exact need had been identified by province and village.
Unfortunately, and due mainly to bureaucracy, the exact and perfect moment never arrived, and the much needed supplies languished in a warehouse until they ultimately expired, and then were discarded.
Is there a phrase to describe this short-sighted and wasteful practice?
"Closing the barn doors after the horses have already bolted"...
does not quite capture the idea: I need a phrase that describes the "waiting until the last moment, fail , and be a waste of resources and time".