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Amazon: Stop recompete on $600M CIA cloud contract

Aug. 21, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
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Federal court documents released Tuesday show that Amazon Web Services wants a permanent injunction to stop the CIA from recompeting a $600 million cloud computing contract, a move the company claims is “exceedingly overbroad” and sure to cause it economic harm.

Amazon filed a claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims last month, following IBM’s successful protest of its $600 million CIA contract. IBM protested the contract with the Government Accountability Office, and in June GAO ruled that it agreed with some of IBM’s complaints, including the CIA’s failure to evaluate pricing for both vendors fairly.

Details on the lawsuit have been sealed, but in a public version of the 79-page lawsuit Amazon aired its grievances about GAO’s “flawed” decision to sustain part of IBM’s protest.

In its June decision, GAO recommended the CIA reopen the competition and amend the solicitation to ensure bid proposals are evaluated fairly.

Amazon called IBM’s protest “untimely in its entirety” and asked that the court allow the CIA to move forward with its award to Amazon.

In a statement, IBM said “Amazon had a chance to air its point of view fully and fairly at the GAO. We are confident the court in this case will uphold the GAO’s ruling and the agency’s follow-on actions implementing it. Unlike Amazon, IBM has a long history of delivering successful transformational projects like this for the U.S. government.”

In response to GAO’s decision, the CIA has already amended its request for proposal, opened discussions with bidders and asked for revised final proposal revisions by Aug. 16, the lawsuit stated.

Allowing IBM to reprice its proposal now that it has seen Amazon’s pricing and ratings information is unreasonable, according to the document.

Amazon also said the CIA’s decision to “implement GAO’s irrational and unlawful recommendation” affects the company’s economic interests because it would be forced to spend time and money recompeting for a contract it has already won.

Under the contract, AWS was to develop and operate a private cloud for the intelligence community, according to the document. Amazon said cloud computing will provide the IC with “a significantly improved ability to manage large scale data and other computing tasks.”

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