Pentagon’s evaluation of controversial $10B contract was a sham, Amazon claims

Sprawling concrete building surrounded by enormous parking lot.
Enlarge / The Pentagon in its pure habitat—Arlington, Virginia—in 2018.

Amazon is constant to struggle the Division of Protection over a $10 billion contract, because the Pentagon has accomplished its evaluation of the deal and decided as soon as once more that it was appropriate to award your entire venture to Microsoft.

The DOD launched bidding for the Joint Enterprise Protection Infrastructure (JEDI) venture, a large cloud-computing contract, in 2019. By April of that yr, the shortlist was down to 2 finalists: Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Amazon was broadly thought-about the favourite, and plenty of trade watchers expressed shock when Microsoft finally landed the deal in October 2019.

Amazon filed suit, alleging that the choice was politically motivated and quoting President Donald Trump’s alleged intention to “screw Amazon.” In February of this yr, a federal choose agreed to order an injunction on the deal pending the result of the case.

The DOD launched its personal preliminary investigation of the contract course of. That evaluation, which concluded in April, decided that the DOD did nothing unsuitable in awarding the contract to Microsoft—regardless that the White Home stonewalled investigators and refused to offer witnesses for the probe.

The company this spring additionally launched a reconsideration of particular components of the contract. That evaluation concluded simply earlier than the Labor Day vacation weekend, with the Pentagon reaffirming that “Microsoft’s proposal continues to characterize the very best deal to the federal government.” Work on the contract, nevertheless, can not start whereas the injunction is in place.

Microsoft applauded the DOD’s choice. “We recognize that after cautious evaluation, the DoD confirmed that we supplied the correct expertise and the very best worth,” the corporate stated in a press release. “We’re able to get to work and be sure that those that serve our nation have entry to this a lot wanted expertise.”

Amazon, in a scathing corporate blog post, strongly rejected the company’s findings.

“Taking corrective motion ought to have supplied the DOD a chance to handle the quite a few materials analysis errors outlined in our protest, guarantee a good and degree taking part in subject, and finally, expedite the conclusion of litigation,” Amazon wrote. “Sadly, the DOD rejected that chance.”

Amazon’s bid for JEDI got here in “tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars}” decrease than Microsoft’s, the corporate alleges, and the “evaluation” was successfully only for present. Why? Due to President Trump, Amazon says:

There’s a recurring sample to the way in which President Trump behaves when he is known as out for doing one thing egregious: first he denies doing it, then he seems to be for tactics to push it off to the facet, to distract consideration from it and delay efforts to analyze it (so folks get bored and neglect about it). After which he finally ends up doubling down on the egregious act anyway. On JEDI, President Trump reportedly ordered former Secretary [of Defense James] Mattis to “screw” Amazon, blatantly interfered in an lively procurement, directed his subordinate to conduct an unorthodox “evaluation” previous to a contract award announcement after which stonewalled an investigation into his personal political interference. “Corrective motion” was used as a option to halt our litigation, delay additional investigations and incorrectly give the looks that just one situation wanted to be fastened whereas giving the impression that the DoD was truly going to repair one thing… This corrective motion modified nothing, wasted 5 months that would have been spent attending to the underside of those critical considerations, and was designed solely to distract from our broader considerations and reaffirm a call that was corrupted by the President’s self-interest.

Amazon intends to maintain pursuing its authorized motion in opposition to the Division of Protection, the corporate added.

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