Pentagon’s review 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 battle the Department of Defense over a $10 billion contract, because the Pentagon has accomplished its review of the deal and decided as soon as once more that it was right to award your entire mission to Microsoft.

The DOD launched bidding for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) mission, a large cloud-computing contract, in 2019. By April of that 12 months, the shortlist was down to 2 finalists: Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure. Amazon was broadly thought-about the favourite, and lots of trade watchers expressed shock when Microsoft finally landed the deal in October 2019.

Amazon filed swimsuit, alleging that the choice was politically motivated and quoting President Donald Trump’s alleged intention to “screw Amazon.” In February of this 12 months, a federal decide agreed to order an injunction on the deal pending the end result of the case.

The DOD launched its personal preliminary investigation of the contract course of. That review, which concluded in April, decided that the DOD did nothing mistaken in awarding the contract to Microsoft—though the White House stonewalled investigators and refused to supply witnesses for the probe.

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

Microsoft applauded the DOD’s determination. “We appreciate that after careful review, the DoD confirmed that we offered the right technology and the best value,” the corporate mentioned in a assertion. “We’re ready to get to work and make sure that those who serve our country have access to this much needed technology.”

Amazon, in a scathing company weblog put up, strongly rejected the company’s findings.

“Taking corrective action should have provided the DOD an opportunity to address the numerous material evaluation errors outlined in our protest, ensure a fair and level playing field, and ultimately, expedite the conclusion of litigation,” Amazon wrote. “Unfortunately, the DOD rejected that opportunity.”

Amazon’s bid for JEDI got here in “tens of millions of dollars” decrease than Microsoft’s, the corporate alleges, and the “review” was successfully only for present. Why? Because of President Trump, Amazon says:

There is 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 appears to be like for methods to push it off to the facet, to distract consideration from it and delay efforts to analyze it (so individuals get bored and overlook about it). And then 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 “review” previous to a contract award announcement after which stonewalled an investigation into his personal political interference. “Corrective action” was used as a solution to halt our litigation, delay additional investigations and incorrectly give the looks that just one concern 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 these severe issues, and was designed solely to distract from our broader issues and reaffirm a determination that was corrupted by the President’s self-interest.

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

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