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DoD asks court for 120 days to’reconsider’ JEDI award

Amazon’s lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) over its decision to award a major cloud contract for Microsoft has taken a new turn. The DoD is asking a federal court to allow it to reconsider its initial decision.
Thursday’s motion by the DoD to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims sought “120 days to review certain aspects of the challenged agency decision.”
The DoD will reevaluate data storage proposals submitted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft as part of the original bidding process to the DoD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. After receiving bids from several cloud vendors, AWS was the front-runner. The DoD awarded the $10 billion JEDI contract to Microsoft last fall.
Amazon quickly filed suit to contest the DoD’s decision. In February, Judge Patricia Elaine Campbell Smith of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued a temporary halt to work on the JEDI contract as the case progresses through court.
According to court documents, the core of Amazon’s challenge is that the DoD “improperly evaluated” Microsoft’s proposal for a “highly available” data storage solution. Amazon claims that although Microsoft’s storage solution was more affordable than Amazon’s, it didn’t meet the DoD’s technical requirements and should have disqualified Microsoft.
Campbell-Smith granted the injunction and stated that Amazon “likely to prove that [the DoD] erred.” She stated that Microsoft’s proposal being in the running rather than disqualifying it had likely had a negative effect on the price evaluation of Amazon’s data solution, which materially hurt its chances of winning.
The DoD is asking for the court to review its decision on the companies’ data storage solutions. It also wants to adjust the terms it solicited proposals under and “accept limited revisions” from Amazon or Microsoft. The DoD also stated that it wanted to reexamine its assessment of the offerors’ online marketplace offerings.
The two companies made separate statements to CNBC, stating that they supported the DoD’s request for a review of its process. Amazon spokesperson stated that they were pleased that the DoD acknowledged the’substantial’ and legitimate issues that had affected the JEDI award decision and that corrective action was necessary.
Microsoft stated that it believed the Department of Defense had made the right decision when it awarded the contract. We support their decision to reconsider a few factors because it is likely to be the fastest way to resolve all problems and provide the necessary modern technology to our troops.
One industry watcher believes that the DoD’s motion could lead to the JEDI contract being split between Amazon and Microsoft. In a statement to Investor’s Business Daily, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said, “While initially this was a single-source contract, we believe the writing is on the wall that the Pentagon needs to likely break up this contract in order to move it along and start the procurement process given how critical the JEDI deal is to the overall DOD and longer-term strategic global military operations/infrastructure.”

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