AWS Vows To Keep Fighting ‘Politically Corrupted’ JEDI Cloud Decision

The cloud leader argued in a blog post that President Donald Trump corrupted the process of selecting a vendor to provide commercial cloud services to the armed forces, and military officials seeking to please him are responsible for wasting months with a faulty re-evaluation process that re-affirmed Microsoft’s win


The industry’s largest cloud provider, Amazon Web Services, said Friday it will keep fighting the Pentagon’s decision to award its massive cloud transformation contract to rival Microsoft because it believes President Donald Trump corrupted the entire selection process.

In a blog post titled: “JEDI: Why We Will Continue to Protest this Politically Corrupted Contract Award,” AWS accused decision-makers guiding the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure initiative of participating in a trend of Defense officials seeking to please President Trump, rather than do what’s right.

“The question we continue to ask ourselves is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the Department of Defense to pursue his own personal and political ends?” the blog, without a named author, reads.

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[Related: Oracle Loses Final $10B JEDI Cloud Contract Appeal]

Earlier Friday, the Department of Defense said it completed its re-evaluation of the JEDI cloud solicitation process and re-affirmed award of the potentially $10 billion contract to Microsoft.

A Microsoft spokesperson later commented: “We appreciate that after careful review, the DoD confirmed that we offered the right technology and the best value. We’re ready to get to work and make sure that those who serve our country have access to this much needed technology.”

Both the Defense Department and Microsoft declined to comment on the statements made in Amazon’s blog post bemoaning the decision.

The Defense Department earlier said, after a months-long reevaluation prompted by a federal judge’s finding of at least one deficiency in the solicitation process involving nearline storage capabilities, that “Microsoft‘s proposal continues to represent the best value to the Government.”

Amazon scoffed at that assertion, noting on the second go-around, it had significantly undercut its competitor on cost.

“It‘s also important to point out that the DoD cited price as a major factor in the previous decision,” the AWS blog stated. “This time, AWS offered a lower cost by several tens of millions of dollars. The DoD’s decision to intentionally ignore the clear cost benefits offered by AWS, reinforces the fact that this corrective action was never meant to be fair. “

AWS said it had initially opposed the DoD’s plans for corrective action in March because, as proved true, that was clearly about creating an opportunity to fix Microsoft’s “non-compliant proposal.”

“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,” the blog reads. “Unfortunately, the DoD rejected that opportunity.”

Amazon restated some of its litany of incidents involving the president, including reports that Trump ordered former Defense Secretary James Mattis to “screw” Amazon out of the deal.

The legal challenge will continue, and military officials who didn’t conduct a fair review are to blame for further hold-ups, Amazon said.

“This corrective action changed nothing, wasted five months that could have been spent getting to the bottom of these serious concerns, and was designed solely to distract from our broader concerns and reaffirm a decision that was corrupted by the President’s self-interest.”

“By continuing to delay, distract, and avoid addressing these very serious issues, the DoD is turning out to be its own worst enemy with regard to speeding things along,” the blog read.

Implementation will still have to wait for an injunction imposed by a federal court in February to be lifted. But “DoD is eager to begin delivering this capability to our men and women in uniform,” the department said in its announcement.

AWS has repeatedly argued President Donald Trump has interfered in the process because of his animosity toward Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, a newspaper the president believes is hostile to his administration.

Before the award came down, Trump said at a White House event he would “look closely” at the contract.

In February, Judge Patricia E Campbell-Smith, who sits on the United States Court of Federal Claims, granted Amazon’s request for a temporary restraining order preventing Microsoft from moving forward with task orders and substantial implementation work on the JEDI contract.

After that ruling, based only on one flaw she identified in the assessment process, Judge Campbell-Smith allowed the military a period of remand to “reconsider certain aspects” of how it evaluated vendor bids.

The judge halted her analysis after identifying that single flaw involving the ability to deliver nearline storage capabilities.

Military officials suggested factors not addressed by the judge were outside the range of their review and resisted looking again at any other of the eight criteria in the RFP that JEDI bidders were required to meet—even as AWS argued six were improperly evaluated in the initial process.