Northrop Grumman takes first step toward $2B Va. deal

Virginia recently awarded a $3.5 million contract to Northrop Grumman as an initial step toward an eventual 10-year, $2 billion pact aimed at a complete transformation of the state's executive branch information technology infrastructure.

The Virginia IT Investment Board recommended in late October that the 10-year contract award should go to Northrop Grumman. The state’s General Assembly must review the contract before the final award can be made.

The interim contract will allow for early transition planning.

The 2003 General Assembly established the investment board to oversee the move from a largely inbred IT infrastructure to one based mostly on outsourced facilities and services.

Without this transformation, the state would have had to shell out about $200 million in the next decade just to maintain an expensive and increasingly outmoded infrastructure, said James McGuirk, chairman of the investment board.

The competition for the 10-year contract ended as a two-horse race between Northrop Grumman and IBM, in which both spent two years and several million dollars developing their proposals.

If the infrastructure partnership between Northrop Grumman and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency is approved by the General Assembly, it will install network and desktop service and e-mail, provide for data center consolidation and management, and build customer-care services, call centers and other infrastructure projects and services, among other things.

Northrop Grumman’s partners on the contract bid include Hewlett-Packard, Booz Allen Hamilton, Gateway and MCI.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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