In the motion filed Thursday evening, the Pentagon asked the Court of Federal Claims in “good faith” to remand Amazon’s protest of the JEDI contract to the department for 120 days so that it can “reconsider certain aspects of the challenged agency decision.”
In effect, the request would allow the DOD to consider the complaints Amazon made in its protest and re-evaluate parts of the contract — potentially upending Microsoft’s win.
Specifically, the DOD wants to re-evaluate bids after the court said in its recent decision to stop work under the contract that Amazon Web Services is “likely to succeed on the merits of its argument that the DOD improperly evaluated” Microsoft’s winning bid. In that order, the judge keyed in on a specific pricing scenario — Factor 5, Price Scenario 6 — for online cloud storage that it says did not comply with the contract’s requirements.
“DoD wishes to reconsider its evaluation of the technical aspects of Price Scenario 6, and intends to issue a solicitation amendment and to accept limited proposal revisions addressing the offerors’ technical approach to that price scenario,” says DOD’s motion. “Proposal revisions on remand will be constrained by the storage solutions and unit prices contained in offerors’ final proposal revisions.”
But the department doesn’t stop there — it also says it “wishes to reconsider its award decision in response to the other technical challenges presented by AWS” in its bid protest. Amazon charges that DOD committed errors evaluating six of the eight factors in the procurement.
The department acknowledges that the results of such a re-evaluation could lead to a change in the contract’s winner and “may obviate the need for further litigation in this Court.” There would be a joint status report at that time among the parties to decide if further litigation would be in order.
Microsoft’s Frank X. Shaw said the company is in support of DOD’s decision.
“We believe the Department of Defense made the correct decision when they awarded the contract,” Shaw said in a statement. “However, we support their decision to reconsider a small number of factors as it is likely the fastest way to resolve all issues and quickly provide the needed modern technology to people across our armed forces. Throughout this process, we’ve focused on listening to the needs of the DOD, delivering the best product, and making sure nothing we did delayed the procurement process. We are not going to change this approach now.”
If granted, this motion would effectively halt the protest until DOD concludes the matter, up to 120 days.
An AWS spokesperson told FedScoop: “We are pleased that the DOD has acknowledged ‘substantial and legitimate’ issues that affected the JEDI award decision, and that corrective action is necessary. We look forward to complete, fair, and effective corrective action that fully insulates the re-evaluation from political influence and corrects the many issues affecting the initial flawed award.”
According to the DOD, Amazon has said it opposes the motion and will file a response.