Citing 'deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias,' Amazon to protest JEDI contract

By Justin Doubleday / November 14, 2019 at 7:12 PM

Amazon Web Services plans to protest its loss of the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud computing contract in federal court, as the company argues the Pentagon’s decision to award Microsoft the contract had “clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias,” according to a company statement released today.

"AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DOD’s modernization efforts,” the statement reads. “We also believe it's critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”

The company has notified DOD it plans to file the protest in the Court of Federal Claims rather than with the Government Accountability Office, according to an AWS official speaking on-background.

A DOD official said the Pentagon "will not speculate on potential litigation."

In October, the Pentagon surprised many by awarding the contract to Microsoft Azure rather than AWS.

AWS had previously joined the U.S. government as a defendant in Oracle America’s lawsuit against the JEDI request for proposals. Oracle had argued DOD’s decision to award the single award contract was flawed and impacted by the involvement of federal employees who went on to work for Amazon. But a judge rejected Oracle’s arguments and allowed the contract to move forward.

However, President Trump in July said he “may look into” the JEDI contract, adding “great companies are complaining” about it.. Senate Democrats urged DOD to “resist political pressures” in moving forward with the JEDI program.

After the contract award last month, DOD CIO Dana Deasy defended the Pentagon’s decision, telling a Senate panel that nobody from the White House influenced the award decision.