Thursday, September 5, 2013

Amazon, GAO, IBM, $600 million CIA contract

A redacted version of a lawsuit Amazon filed against the federal government became public, offering a look at the company’s effort to block rebidding of its lucrative CIA deal.

Amazon blasts GAO and IBM over $600 million CIA contract | Business & Technology | The Seattle Times: ". . . So when AWS won the contract to build the Web-based infrastructure for the CIA in January, IBM, a losing bidder, protested. IBM took its case to the GAO, which can review contract-bidding processes at government agencies. The GAO agreed, in part, with IBM in June. The GAO found that Amazon’s bid was technically superior, even though IBM’s bid to build the technology was significantly lower. But the GAO also agreed with IBM that the CIA did not properly evaluate IBM’s bid in a few narrow, technical matters. The CIA decided to follow the GAO’s recommendations. “In response to the GAO decision, the CIA has taken corrective action and remains focused on awarding a cloud contract for the intelligence community,” said agency spokesman Christopher White. That determination triggered Amazon’s suit against the United States last month, a suit that was sealed until Tuesday. Amazon’s central argument is that IBM’s complaints regarding the Agency’s evaluation of its pricing on one piece of the contract were untimely. And Amazon argues that IBM doesn’t have the capability to deliver the type of Web-based computing that the CIA seeks. So even if IBM’s arguments had merit, they wouldn’t affect the outcome of the contract. For its part, IBM said, Amazon had its chance to defend its bid before the GAO and lost. . . ." (read more at link above)

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