In brief: Homeland Watch

Northrop leads lobbying

With all the attention on federal lobbying, it seemed like a good time to check the records on Homeland Security Department contractors. Of the firms holding the largest IT contracts, the lobbying leader is Northrop Grumman Corp., which spent $12.6 million in 2004, according to the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan group monitoring political financing.

Others in the top 10 are Lockheed Martin Corp., $7.24 million; IBM Corp., $6.54 million; Motorola Inc., $6.46 million; General Dynamics Corp., $5.68 million; Raytheon Co., $4.35 million; Accenture , $3.14 million; EDS Corp., $2.77 million; Dell Inc., $1.47 million; Unisys Corp., $1.1 million; Computer Sciences Corp., $820,000; BearingPoint Inc., $760,000; and Science Applications International Corp., $160,000.

Chamber bumped from IT group

An executive board of the new IT Sector Coordinating Council has decided the U.S. Chamber doesn't belong in the group, according to Andrew Howell, homeland security director for the chamber.

"We had hoped to be eligible, but it was determined that we were not eligible," Howell said. "We've expressed our disappointment."

Many of the chamber members have IT interests, but the council ruled that it was not sufficiently IT-specific, he said.

Mather defends Unisys deal

Government procurement expert Chip Mather was in the middle of it all ? he was consulting with the Transportation Security Administration in mid-2002 about how to set up its IT infrastructure, and is confident that its award to Unisys Corp. was made competitively.

TSA's $1 billion contract with Unisys has come under fire in the Washington Post recently because of alleged overfilling. It's also getting attention among bloggers, because Unisys later hired disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, though the company says Abramoff did not lobby on the TSA contract.

Mather is certain everything was aboveboard in 2002: "I saw all the proposals, everything, and it was absolutely straight-up competitive."

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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