On September four, the Protection Division awarded Microsoft its Joint Enterprise Protection Infrastructure cloud contract for a second time, concluding—amid a authorized protest filed by Amazon Internet Companies—that Microsoft’s bid once more represented “the very best worth to the federal government.”
But JEDI stays underneath a court-ordered injunction first issued in April, shelving any work underneath the contract till AWS’ protest is resolved. On Sept. 15, the Protection Division submitted—underneath seal—the supply choice documentation it used to re-award the JEDI contract to Microsoft. The transfer formally concludes practically 5 months of time that the Pentagon requested from Federal Choose Patricia Campbell-Smith to appropriate the JEDI procurement, and represents a big step to probably lifting the injunction.
“If there’s an injunction imposed by the court docket, nothing can transfer ahead,” Stan Soloway, president and CEO of Celero Methods and a former Protection Division acquisition official, instructed Nextgov. “However, even when a protest remains to be in play, theoretically the federal government might declare an pressing want and proceed.”
Inside hours of the JEDI award, AWS introduced it deliberate to additional protest the contract, and a separate Sept. 15 court docket submitting by the federal government—following a convention of every occasion’s attorneys—formally indicated AWS’ desired intent to proceed the protest. What precisely will make up its protest is more likely to rely on a post-award debriefing from the Pentagon. Beneath Federal Acquisition Regulation, the federal government is obligated to offer a debriefing “to the utmost extent practicable” to an offeror relating to “the idea for the choice choice and contract award.” Submit-award debriefings often happen inside days of an award.
“The federal government is within the technique of finishing the supply choice actions as required underneath the FAR,” Pentagon spokesman Russell Goemaere instructed Nextgov in a press release.
AWS’ Sept. four assertion foreshadows a few of its grievances, together with continued points with pricing and questioning the “corrective motion” the Pentagon took in amending the JEDI procurement over the previous 5 months.
Attorneys for the Pentagon and AWS have already agreed to a schedule of occasions transferring ahead that might maintain work underneath the contract till not less than February 2021. AWS should file its amended criticism by Oct. 9, and its renewed movement for additional discovery to complement the file by Oct. 23. The court docket expects to resolve new motions by Dec. four. If the decide decides to not grant AWS’ request for additional discovery, the events would trade filings for judgment till Feb. 5, after which period Patricia-Smith might render a call within the case. The timeline isn’t agency: If AWS prevails in further discovery, it might add months to the case.
AWS’ weblog submit makes clear the corporate isn’t dropping its claims of political interference within the contracting course of by President Trump, although Campbell-Smith has but to deal with these complaints. She did rule in favor of AWS relating to potential analysis errors by the Protection Division and granted the present injunction to stop work underneath the contract.
The JEDI procurement was designed to be the Pentagon’s conflict cloud, offering a typical and related world IT cloth in any respect classification ranges for its many buyer companies and warfighters. Nevertheless, the contract is roughly two years delayed after quite a few delays and several other authorized challenges. Soloway stated JEDI just isn’t a contract more likely to finish quietly.
“This can be a weird case to say the least,” Soloway stated. “By no means seen something fairly prefer it.”