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U.S. Navy Fires Official Handling $4.5 Billion Contract

The U.S. Navy said it has fired an officer from his job overseeing billions of dollars in information-technology contracts, citing the results of an inquiry into an “improper relationship.”

Captain Shawn Hendricks’s removal was for an “improper relationship and unprofessional behavior,” according to a Navy statement. Among the responsibilities of the Navy office he had led was a competition for a $4.5 billion network contract.

Hendricks’s dismissal “was in no way related to any contracting decisions with the programs he oversaw” and there “was no compromise of procurement-sensitive information,” Sarah Flaherty, a Navy spokeswoman, said today by e-mail.

A Navy official who asked not to be identified discussing the matter said the relationship was with a female contractor, without providing the name of her employer.

Companies including Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ), Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), Harris Corp. (HRS) and Dell Inc. (DELL) are competing for the $4.5 billion, five-year award to run the Navy’s communications network. The contractor selected to operate the so-called Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN, will be announced by June 30, the Navy said today.

Separately, the Pentagon today announced that Palo Alto, California-based Hewlett-Packard, which runs the Navy’s existing network, received a $680 million modification to that deal.

The change ensures the company’s services will continue to be provided until the new contract takes effect, according to the announcement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Taborek in Washington at ntaborek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephanie Stoughton at sstoughton@bloomberg.net

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