After completing its re-evaluation of JEDI cloud proposals, the Department of Defense has said that Microsoft still offers the best value for the government.
But Amazon, which is still contesting the major military contract in court, said that the award was "politically corrupted" and that it "creates a dangerous precedent that threatens the integrity of the federal procurement system and the ability of our nation’s warfighters and civil servants to access the best possible technologies."
Pleasing the President
"The Department has completed its comprehensive re-evaluation of the JEDI Cloud proposals and determined that Microsoft's proposal continues to represent the best value to the Government," the DoD said in a short statement.
In a significantly longer rebuttal, Amazon Web Services' public sector department criticized the news, doubling down on allegations that officials steered the contract to Microsoft in an effort to appease President Trump, who is believed to dislike Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
"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," it said. "Unfortunately, the DoD rejected that opportunity."
The company said that it was "deeply concerned that the JEDI contract award creates a dangerous precedent that threatens the integrity of the federal procurement system and the ability of our nation’s warfighters and civil servants to access the best possible technologies."
It continued: "Others have raised similar concerns around a growing trend where defense officials act based on a desire to please the President, rather than do what’s right. This was illustrated by the refusal to cooperate with the DoD Inspector General, which sought to investigate allegations that the President interfered in the JEDI procurement in order to steer the award away from AWS. Instead of cooperating, the White House exerted a “presidential communications privilege” that resulted in senior DoD officials not answering questions about JEDI communications between the White House and DoD. This begs the question, what do they have to hide?
"The ongoing dismissal of inspector generals across our government, civil servants who are entrusted to ensure ethical conduct, is another worrying trend. The President has removed perceived political threats from their roles simply for doing their jobs, including demoting the Acting DoD Inspector General just days before the release of the JEDI Report. A similar pattern has emerged within the DoD as senior military leadership cannot exercise their sound judgment without facing retribution. Even those who serve our country in the pursuit of justice and fairness under the law, have been sidelined by the President in favor of blatant cronyism."
Amazon also teased that it might have more information to back up its statements: "Throughout the litigation, we have grown more confident in our position as more information has come to light (some of this information has been made public, other parts not yet)."