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In a blog post, Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Communications, revealed that Amazon has launched another bid to prevent Microsoft from fulfilling the Pentagon’s JEDI contract, which would update the Department of Defences’s IT services to a modern cloud-based back-end.
Shaw revealed that on Tuesday Amazon has filed yet another confidential protest with the DoD to the contract being awarded to Microsoft, likely with the purpose of overturning the assignment of the contract and restarting the bidding process.
Fedscoop reports that Amazon was asking for more clarity around the corrective action it has proposed taking on the JEDI contract after a federal claims court judge granted the DOD a 120-day remand to “reconsider the aspects of the procurement challenged in [Amazon’s] protest” of the $10 billion commercial cloud contract.
Shaw notes that US Department of Defense Inspector General’s report in the awarding of the JEDI contract found the DoD personnel who evaluated the contract proposals and awarded Microsoft the JEDI Cloud contract were not pressured regarding their decision by superiors, and the main reason Amazon lost was that they priced their service higher than Microsoft.
Jon Palmer, Microsoft Deputy General Counsel, wrote earlier: “Amazon would have you believe that it lost the award because of bias at the highest levels of government. But Amazon, alone, is responsible for the pricing it offered. As the government explained in its brief: ‘AWS and Microsoft each had a fair chance to build pricing for the entire procurement, based on their overall business pricing.’ Amazon did build its pricing for the entire procurement, and it wasn’t good enough to win.”
Shaw noted that the changes DoD have made based on the judge’s ruling do not allow Amazon to undo its earlier business decision to bid high, which resulted in their loss and it does not allow Amazon to completely re-do its pricing, especially now that it knows Microsoft’s price and has a target to shoot at.
Shaw called Amazon’s latest complaint “another example of Amazon trying to bog down JEDI in complaints, litigation and other delays designed to force a do-over to rescue its failed bid” and made the point that in the end, it was the soldier in the field which suffered most from the delay in modernizing the DoD’s IT infrastructure, saying:
“I think about the customer not as a singular “DoD” but as the individual soldier, sailor, airman or Marine who wants and deserves the very best tools to do their job. And the best way Amazon can put these customers first is to stand down on its litigation, stop asking for a do-over and let JEDI proceed.”
Read Shaw’s full blog post here.