Amazon Web Services files complaint in court over CIA contract
The U.S. Government Accountability Office sustained in June a protest by IBM against the award of the contract to AWS
IDG News Service - Amazon Web Services filed a complaint in federal court after the Government Accountability Office sustained in part a protest by IBM against the award of a CIA contract for a cloud computing project.
IBM had challenged the evaluation of proposals and the selection decision in the award of the CIA contract for commercial cloud services to AWS in Seattle.
The complaint filed by AWS on Wednesday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims is under seal as some of the information contained in it is under a protective order from the GAO.
"We believe strongly that the CIA got it right the first time. Providing true cloud computing services to the intelligence community requires a transformative approach with superior technology," AWS said in an emailed statement.
"We believe that the CIA selected AWS based on AWS' technically superior, best value solution, which will allow the Agency to rapidly innovate while delivering the confidence and security assurance needed for mission-critical systems. We look forward to a fast resolution so the Agency can move forward with this important contract," it added, without providing information on what AWS is asking from the court.
Amazon is seeking a response by Sept. 23 to its complaint, according to the filing. The contract to AWS is said to be worth about $600 million, according to various reports.
Five companies including IBM, Microsoft, AT&T and Amazon, submitted proposals by closing time on July 13 last year. Protests by AT&T and Microsoft were found moot after the CIA amended its request for proposal to remove contested mandatory qualification requirements. One unnamed company dropped out of the race.
The GAO in its ruling of June 6 said that IBM's protest was sustained because the evaluation of its price under one of the solicitation's price scenarios "was not calculated in such a way as to result in evaluation on a common basis," according to a redacted version of the ruling on the GAO website.
The GAO also found that the CIA relaxed a solicitation term only for AWS during post-selection negotiations, while rejecting a claim by IBM that the agency's evaluation of the past performance of a commercial cloud services provider improperly ignored information from news reports of service outages.
GAO recommended that the agency reopen the competition and amend the RFP as necessary to ensure that proposals "are prepared and evaluated on a common basis."
The CIA deal is important for AWS as it targets opportunities to set up clouds for governments in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The Amazon.com company already runs AWS GovCloud for government agencies, and plans to set up similar "mini-clouds" or gated configurations for governments around the world, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels said in an interview recently.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- 5 Customers Deliver Virtual Desktops and Apps to Empower a Modern Workforce
- Learn how Citrix solutions helped 5 companies realize the full value of desktop virtualization through a project-by-project approach based on key business priorities.
- Top 10 Reasons to Strengthen Information Security with Desktop Virtualization
- Regain control and reduce risk without sacrificing business productivity and growth
- IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Client Virtualization Software 2013 Vendor Assessment
- IDC has placed Citrix in the 2013 IDC MarketScape Leaders Category once again noting that, "Citrix's position reflects the company's market leadership and...
- Infographic: Top Use Cases for Desktop Virtualization
- A wide range of business issues is driving IT toward desktop virtualization. One solution-Citrix XenDesktop with FlexCast technology-helps IT teams empower their entire... All Government IT White Papers
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- All Government IT Webcasts