June 12, 2009 By Tod Newcombe, Editor
Stewart was fired from his position as director of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) by its oversight panel after he questioned a multimillion dollar invoice from Northrop Grumman, the computer company charged with running the state's major IT systems, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Stewart's dismissal comes as the state's IT agency has come under scrutiny for administrative and financial questions and was criticized for the recent hacking of computerized prescription records at the state's Department of Health Professions.
Stewart was not available for comment, according to various press reports.
According to the Times-Dispatch, the deal with Northrop Grumman has been criticized by some legislators and state employees as costly and inefficient. Most recently, VITA reported a $6.2 million budget deficit. Stewart told the oversight board that his agency was unable to fully pay the contractor, which he said was "not meeting [its] contractual obligations," and that its invoices to the state are documented insufficiently.
Northrop Grumman has a 10-year, $2.3 billion contract to manage the state's IT systems and services, according to the newspaper.
No reason was given by the oversight board for Stewart's firing.
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