Microsoft challenges NSA cloud contract allegedly awarded to Amazon
President Donald Trump speaks on Jan.
Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Microsoft has filed a protest against the National Security Agency at the Government Accountability Office and challenged the award of a cloud computing contract.
The protest filed on July 21 is intended to challenge the NSA’s decision to award the $ 10 billion contract to Amazon, the journals Nextgov and Washington Technology reported on Tuesday.
The NSA deal with Amazon follows the Pentagon’s decision to terminate its $ 10 billion cloud contract known as JEDI, or Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. The JEDI deal, embroiled in a lengthy legal battle between tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, has become one of the most tangled contracts for the Pentagon.
The NSA contract, which is also up to 10 billion US dollars, is code-named “WildandStormy” and is intended to modernize the agency’s secret data storage, reported Nextgov.
In a statement to CNBC, a spokesman for the NSA said the agency “recently placed a contract for cloud computing services,” and declined to elaborate on the matter.
“The unsuccessful provider has lodged a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The agency will respond to the protest in accordance with applicable federal regulations,” added the spokesman.
A Microsoft spokesman told CNBC in a statement: “Based on the decision, we are filing an administrative protest through the Government Accountability Office. We exercise our legal rights and will do so carefully and responsibly. “
AWS referred questions to the NSA.
The lucrative JEDI cloud contract was intended to modernize the IT operations of the Pentagon for services provided for up to 10 years. Microsoft received the cloud computing contract in 2019, beating the market leader Amazon Web Services.
A month later, Amazon’s cloud computing unit AWS filed a lawsuit in the US federal court to protest the JEDI decision.
The company argued that President Donald Trump was biased against Amazon, and its then CEO Jeff Bezos lobbied the Pentagon to give the contract to Microsoft.
Last year the Pentagon Inspector General released a report that the award did not appear to have been influenced by the White House.
However, the Inspector General noted in the 313-page report released in April 2020 that he had had limited cooperation with White House officials throughout his review and was therefore unable to complete his assessment of the ethical misconduct allegations.
A Pentagon official said on a call with reporters that the litigation itself is not necessarily the main reason for the change in approach. Given that the landscape had changed in the meantime, the agency found that their needs had changed too.
– CNBC’s Jordan Novet and Lauren Feiner contributed to this article.
WATCH: Department of Defense Chief Information Officer on the decision to terminate the JEDI program