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., Computer Sciences Corp., Harris Corp. and Dell Inc. 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.

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