Some details of the Amazon JEDI sealed complaint to the court has come to light during preliminary hearings related to awarding the Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI contract to Microsoft, a decision which surprised many.
“The JEDI contract was ultimately awarded to Microsoft despite what plaintiff characterizes as its depth of experience, superior technology and proven record of success in handling the most sensitive government data,” said Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith as she summarized the complaint during a conference call with attorneys for Amazon, Microsoft, and the Department of Defense.
In the Amazon JEDI sealed complaint Amazon is asking the judge to block the Defense Department going forward with the contract and wants the bidding process re-opened.
“According to plaintiff, DoD’s failure to fairly credit [Amazon’s] technical superiority was not merely the result of arbitrary and capricious decision-making,” she noted, “but rather Plaintiff contends that the procurement process was compromised and negatively affected by the bias expressed publicly by the President and Commander in Chief Donald Trump against Plaintiff.”
To support their view Amazon’s legal team submitted video clips from FOX News containing comments from President Trump.
In the clip below from CNBC Donald Trump appears to suggest Microsoft complained directly to the White House about the contract and Amazon’s conduct. At one point Amazon has been accused of stacking the specifications to fit their service, thereby excluding others. The main plaintiffs in that complaint were HP and Oracle, however. Those complaints were eventually dismissed.
Speaking separately Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy said;
“We feel pretty strongly that it was not adjudicated fairly. I think if you do the truly objective and detailed apples-to-apples comparison of the platforms, you don’t end up in the spot where that decision was made.”
Microsoft for its part has attempted to remain above the fray, merely commenting:
“We brought our best efforts to the rigorous JEDI evaluation process and appreciate that DoD has chosen Microsoft.”
“We believe the facts will show they (DoD) ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft,” Microsoft said separately in an emailed statement.
Beyond the value to the contract, the work is especially important since there are speculations that other departments will follow the Pentagon’s footsteps and upgrade their infrastructures in the future.