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GAO Denies Northrop Grumman Protest in $1 Billion DHS Cybersecurity Contract Fight

A Northrop Grumman property in El Segundo, Calif.

A Northrop Grumman property in El Segundo, Calif. // Ken Wolter/Shutterstock.co,

The government’s contract arbiter has dismissed Northrop Grumman’s protest of a roughly $1 billion cybersecurity contract award to Raytheon after more than two years of legal wrangling, according to documents released Thursday.

The contract, dubbed DOMino, covers “development, operations and maintenance” cybersecurity services the Homeland Security Department provides across the federal government under a system called Einstein.

Homeland Security first awarded the contract to Raytheon in September 2015 but re-evaluated the contract bids several times in response to Northrop Grumman protests.

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Northrop Grumman claimed Raytheon had an unfair advantage because it had hired one former top Homeland Security official and another worked at one of its subcontractors.

The company also objected because Raytheon submitted some documents after final proposals were due and because Homeland Security modified some requirements after releasing its request for proposals.

The Government Accountability Office denied all those claims.

GAO decisions are not legally binding but a denial or dismissal typically clears the way for an agency to continue with a contract. Protesters can ask GAO to reconsider its decisions or sue based on the same arguments at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The dismissal is dated Oct. 4 but was previously subject to a GAO protective order.

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