Northrop Grumman, CGI-AMS Get the Job

From today’s Washington Post: “Northrop Grumman Corp. and CGI-AMS have been selected by the Commonwealth of Virginia to spearhead a 10-year, multibillion-dollar initiative to transform its information technology.”

The Northrop Grumman piece is valued at $1.9 billion over 10 years to modernize the state’s 1980s-era infrastructure. CGI-AMS will handle the business-process applications; the value of that contract has not been made public. Sayeth the WaPo:

If Virginia had not pursued the transformation initiative, the state would have spent $200 million over the next 10 years to support “an increasingly outdated and expensive infrastructure,” James F. McGuirk II, chairman of the state IT investment board, said in a statement.

The overhaul of Virginia’s IT operations will be one of the most lasting legacies of the Warner administration.

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11 responses to “Northrop Grumman, CGI-AMS Get the Job”

  1. Will Vehrs Avatar
    Will Vehrs

    A huge initiative, with enormous implications for the state.

    No wonder it wasn’t discussed on the campaign trail.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    Well put, Will.

    Did anybody see the “Presidential Debate” on the LIVE West Wing last night? I’m ready to back Alda/Arnie. His discussion of the deadly impact of tax policy on Africa’s economy would have brought a tear to the Gipper’s eye, and reminded me why I’m a Republican. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had EVER seen a candidates debate with that much substance? I know I’ve watched them all since 1976 (when Ford liberated Poland for a few glorious moments.) Maybe we should hire Hollywood actors for the effort in 2008.

    Okay, back to reality. Don’t answer the phone…Keep the TV on TCM….Don’t read any mail…33 hours and counting.

  3. Anonymous Avatar

    So, AMS got paid to put jobs in Southwest so that they could look better for a contract bid that they will get paid for?

    I have friends who work in the backoffice department getting moved to Southwest, and they are none too happy with their pending move.

  4. Anonymous Avatar

    So what does this mean for the average state worker who doesn’t work for VITA? Other than getting a new computer or new software, what are these so-called enormous implications?

  5. Anonymous Avatar

    I have to wonder who the average state employee is anymore. Every article I see has more and more employees being affected and I don’t doubt more and more of our business will be outsourced as the higher-ups look for more ways to cover up inadequate management while lining the pockets of their corporate buddies.

    I know one implication has already started for average state workers. Everything we do ends up using some sort of technology unless you are still pushing lead to paper. The red tape is already getting thicker and thicker and the deal is not even done yet. Layers and layers of high-paid “project managers” are being hired and the VITA ivory tower continues to reach soaring heights. The sad thing is… to the average state employee, there is no difference at all except there will be less money to do what needs to be done in Virginia and more hassles trying to get it done!

  6. Anyone else notice that the billions of dollars associated with these contracts will go to a Canadian company (CGI-AMS) and a Los Angeles-based company (Northrop Grumman). Both have operations here, but the fact that they are organized elsewhere means that these state tax dollars will go out of state (out of country) rather than be invested in our Virginia economy.

  7. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Claire, for what it’s worth the “AMS” in CGI-AMS is the old American Management Systems based in Northern Virginia. I would guess that AMS will be handling the bulk of the project. … As for Northrop Grumman, it is already moving experienced management personnel to Richmond. I ran into one woman, a project manager, at a cocktail party over the weekend. She’d just moved up from Florida.

  8. Jim Bacon Avatar

    Steve, yes, I saw a good part of the “West Wing” debate. I have to give Alan Alda credit. For an old liberal, he had his conservative lines down pat. He sounded pretty darn good. I loved the line, clap if you’ve been to Northern Alaska.

  9. Anonymous Avatar

    I must not get the big picture with these private contracts. They don’t claim to save money, just get us better hardware/software? I’m not sure about the other agencies but in ours we didn’t have a problem getting new software or hardware unless the managers chose not to get it. The money was there when asked for with evidence of need. VITA plopped new hardware on our desks as soon as they took over. They also have been advertising how much money they’ve saved everyone (although I’m not sure the numbers are real). Why do we need to outsource now if VITA is already doing such a great job?

    As for the applications deal, I’m really concerned. Many agencies have tried to bring in more sophisticated software in the past. The problem has always been trying to maintain the software after making the many customizations. I read in one of the VITA project reports where VITA was going to “help” VDOT with upgrading their FMSII system by having them re-engineer the way they process their work. Same thing with the long ago IHRIS. We all know in state government that there are so many scenarios in the different agencies and one shoe does not fit. How can these companies decide which agencies are going to re-engineer the things they do to make this work any better than the systems that have already been tried? It’s not that the Commonwealth employees couldn’t get the software up and running. It’s the changes required to actually make it useful that put the projects in the trash can. Unless VITA is somehow going to force the agencies to change their processes in a big way, I don’t see how the private companies can do any better than the Commonwealth employees did…

    In both cases, it sure is a lot of money to pay private companies to come in and do what Commonwealth employees can do with the same “process changes” and half the budget. If only the higher-ups would quit looking at Commwealth employees as idiots and make demands attainable!

  10. Jim:

    I know that AMS used to be Virginia based, and that they have an office in NOVA, but they are not a Virginia company anymore.

    I do think that it is interesting that the CGI-AMS “investment” of $6 million in Russell County was announced less than a week before the VITA deal was inked by CGI-AMS.

    I’d like to believe in coincidences and surprises …

    I do hope that the deal in Russell doesn’t end up like the Motorola deal that left us with an unnecessary engineering program at VCU.


  11. Anonymous Avatar

    These are the same yahoos screwin up Washington State's Child Protection Agency's IT system. They managed to get their plan adopted without actually winning the contract.

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