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Northrop Grumman offers 'regret' for lengthy Virginia computer outage

Rosalind Helderman

A representative of Virginia's computer contractor Northrop Grumman says the defense giant "deeply regrets" inconvenience caused by a widespread outage in the state's computer network over the past week.

In a statement, Linda A. Mills, the company's corporate vice president and president of Northrop's Information Systems, said repairs to the data storage unit that failed Aug. 25 are complete and all state agencies are operational. Twenty-six of the state's 89 agencies experienced some level of outage. Most notably, operations at the state's 74 Department of Motor Vehicle locations were largely off-line for seven days.

"Northrop Grumman deeply regrets the disruption and inconvenience this has caused state agencies and Virginia citizens," Mills said in a statement. "Over the last week, we have deployed significant resources and our staff has worked tirelessly in unison with [the Virginia Information Technologies Agency] and our partners to thoroughly verify and restore access to data and restore normal operations to the agencies."

Mills confirmed that the company plans to reimburse the state for "reasonable costs" associated with hiring an independent third party to analyze the cause of the failure and why it took so long to bring state computers back online after the initial storage unit was repaired Aug. 26.

"We are diligently working through the lessons learned from this unfortunate incident and revising the plan to improve process and response time for restoring agency operations," she said. "We look forward to hearing the results of the independent review."

Mills also defended the $2.4 billion outsourcing contract between Virginia and the company, calling the contract a "bold course" and a "first of its kind project."

"The partnership has experienced its share of obstacles, not unusual with large transformation programs, but with this modernized system Virginia and her citizens should find themselves years ahead of other states with the service provided by its IT infrastructure," she said.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  September 2, 2010; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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