A five-year contract awarded to Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) for operating the communications network for the U.S. Navy is now under protest by Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) and Harris Corp (HRS). The deal is worth $3.5 billion.

The protest was filed at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Now the GAO has until Oct. 23 to decide on the validity of the protest, according to the managing associate general counsel for procurement law, Ralph White.

HP, which is based out of Palo Alto, California, has received similar contracts in the past and has operated the U.S. Navy communications network since 2008. In fact, 30 percent of the $2.6 billion in revenue from federal awards during their fiscal year last year, which ended in September. The Navy contract is HP’s largest contract with the U.S. government.

HP commented on the awarded contract through an emailed statement from the vice president of the company’s division that won the deal, Bill Toti. He said that the procedure the company went through to get the multi-billion dollar contract was very exhaustive and arduous, and that he “has every confidence in the Navy’s evaluation and selection.”

The Next Generation Enterprise Network that HP will utilize includes AT&T, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and International Business Machines. CSC and Harris’ team included Dell, Verizon and General Dynamics.

A contract dispute, no matter how big or small, can launch a business into a legal quagmire. If your company is involved in such a dispute and you cannot seem to resolve it, contact a California business law attorney. An experienced lawyer can help protect your company’s interests and can advise you of your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to the contract.

Source:  Bloomberg.com, “CSC Protests $3.5 Billion U.S. Navy Award to Hewlett-Packard” Kathleen Miller, Jul. 15, 2013