Amazon Files Formal Protest Against Microsoft's JEDI Win
- By Scott Bekker
After indicating last month that it would challenge the U.S. Department of Defense's process for awarding the massive contract to Microsoft, Amazon has formally filed suit.
The company on Monday filed its protest complaint in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims over the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, which is known as JEDI and which could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years to supply cloud computing services to the DoD.
Public versions of the 103-page complaint are heavily redacted, but the thrust of Amazon's complaint is that Amazon Web Services (AWS) was technically superior, that Microsoft's Azure cloud services failed key tests for the contract and that President Donald J. Trump steered the contract away from AWS.
The opening paragraphs get right to the heart of Amazon's argument:
Any meaningful review of that decision reveals egregious errors on nearly every evaluation factor, from ignoring the unique strengths of AWS's proposal, to overlooking clear failures in Microsoft's proposal to meet JEDI's technical requirements, to deviating altogether from DoD's own evaluation criteria to give a false sense of parity between the two offerors. These fundamental errors alone require reversal.
These errors, however, were not merely the result of arbitrary and capricious decisionmaking. They were the result of improper pressure from President Donald J. Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks to steer the JEDI Contract away from AWS to harm his perceived political enemy-Jeffrey P. Bezos, founder and CEO of AWS's parent company, Amazon.com, Inc. ("Amazon"), and owner of the Washington Post. DoD's substantial and pervasive errors are hard to understand and impossible to assess separate and apart from the President's repeatedly expressed determination to, in the words of the President himself, "screw Amazon." Basic justice requires reevaluation of proposals and a new award decision. The stakes are high. The question is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of DoD to pursue his own personal and political ends.
A PDF of the redacted version of the filing via the Washington Post is available here.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.