Collective noun and its pronoun

Consider the sentence from a news article below:

The government have strengthened its efforts to crack down drug business since Feb. 1, when it declared the beginning of the war on drugs.

I understand that government is a collective noun which can use either singular or plural verbs depending on the context. Here, the subject uses the plural verb have , but the pronoun used for the subject is it . I'm not sure about this inconsistent use of pronoun or verb. Is this kind of use acceptable? Would it be better to rewrite the sentence above as:

The government has strengthened its efforts to crack down drugbusiness since Feb. 1, when it declared the beginning of the war on drugs.

or

The government have strengthened their efforts to crack down drugbusiness since Feb. 1, when they declared the beginning of the war on drugs.

Thank you
Original Post
The writer, most likely a speaker of British English, has chosen to use the plural verb with the noun "government" and then has switched to the singular form for the pronoun references. This is unusual.

Biber et al.* state

"Collective nouns can occur with both singular and plural personal pronouns and possessive determiners..." (p. 331)

They give as the only example relevant to Ananja's query this sentence:

The committee has decided that their faithful followers should be the ones to decide on the club's fate (p. 332)

They give no example of the converse: a plural verb followed by singular pronoun references.

A Google search likewise turns up no similar entries, leading me to conclude that this pattern is anomalous.

Marilyn Martin

*Longman Grammar of Contemporary English (1999)

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