The Pentagon is seeking to reevaluate the bids for its potential $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud competition, filing a motion on Thursday asking the court to remand Amazon Web Services’ [AMZN] legal challenge of the competition.
If approved, DoD would have 120 days to review AWS’ challenge of political interference and technical errors in the procurement process, while potentially reconsidering its decision to award the contract to Microsoft [MSFT].
“We are pleased that the DoD has acknowledged ‘substantial and legitimate’ issues that affected the JEDI award decision, and that corrective action is necessary. We look forward to complete, fair, and effective corrective action that fully insulates the re-evaluation from political influence and corrects the many issues affecting the initial flawed award,” an AWS spokesperson told Defense Daily.
Microsoft beat out AWS for the JEDI cloud contract in October, following two years of program delays, allegations of conflict of interest, pre-award protests and congressional and industry pushback over the Pentagon’s decision to go with a single-award approach.
“We believe the Department of Defense made the correct decision when they awarded the contract. However, we support their decision to reconsider a small number of factors as it is likely the fastest way to resolve all issues and quickly provide the needed modern technology to people across our armed forces. Throughout this process, we’ve focused on listening to the needs of the DoD, delivering the best product, and making sure nothing we did delayed the procurement process. We are not going to change this approach now,” Frank Shaw, a Microsoft spokesman, told Defense Daily.
The Pentagon’s motion follows the court’s February decision ordering the department to pause JEDI while AWS’ legal challenge was being considered, and as Microsoft was planning to start initial work on the program that same month (Defense Daily, Feb. 13).
In the motion, the Pentagon notes that such a potential reevaluation could result to a change in the contract winner and “may obviate the need for further litigation in this court.”
“Over two years the DoD reviewed dozens of factors and sub factors and found Microsoft equal or superior to AWS on every factor. We remain confident that Microsoft’s proposal was technologically superior, continues to offer the best value, and is the right choice for the DoD,” Shaw said.