Delays in a $2B Northrop contract have the Virginia Senate calling for a review

The outsourcing contract is missing its deadlines to transform the state's information technology infrastructure

The Virginia senate is asking questions about a $2 billion Northrop Grumman Corp. contract with the state to handle all agency information technology needs.

The company has fallen behind on some deadlines for the contract it won in 2005, according to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

Northrop Grumman missed deadlines for a new billing system and an inventory of the state’s IT infrastructure.

Under the contract, the company was to transform and modernize Virginia’s infrastructure, saving the state money while delivering better service.

The controversy around the project has heated up recently. The state chief information officer, Lemuel Stewart Jr., questioned the project last week and was fired.

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee is calling for a review of the contract. A subcommittee will look at the contract during a June 29 meeting in Richmond, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

Northrop Grumman released a statement calling the contract “a visionary, groundbreaking concept never undertaken before. The partnership is addressing much more than IT.”

The contract is part of an effort to make “significant organizational and cultural changes. … Managing these changes and gaining stakeholder buy-in is a challenge, as expected with an effort of this magnitude.”

The company said it is confident that it is delivering good value and best-of-class systems. “We welcome the opportunity to address questions about our partnership with VITA,” the statement said. VITA is the Virginia Information Technologies Agency and is tasked with managing Northrop Grumman’s contract.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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