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Amazon CIA Cloud

In our recent post, we informed our readers about Amazon Web Services winning the CIA cloud computing contract over IBM. The awarding of the contract and proposals evaluation process was challenged by IBM that was sustained in part by Government Accountability Office. The government agency recommended CIA to reopen the bidding process and negotiation with the concerned companies by August 6, 2013.

Just when only two weeks are left for the deadline to expire, Amazon Web Services filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking approval for the CIA contract to move forward that was awarded to AWS. The claim and the supporting documents have not been made public yet.

The protest by IBM was sustained by GAO on the claim that CIA could not evaluate the prices properly and relinquished a contract requirement only for Seattle-based Amazon.

In an email statement, AWS ststed,

.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 added,

.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..

According to the suit filed by AWS, the response is being asked from the court by September 23, 2013.  The officials from CIA and IBM refused to put forward any kind of comments over the issue.

The issue arose when CIA asked for proposals to award Cloud computing contract. Five giant names in the computing industry submitted the proposals that included Microsoft, IBM, Amazon and AT&T. Protests were filed by Microsoft, AT&T and IBM when the contract was awarded to AWS, but only IBM’s protest was sustained by the Government Accountability Office.

The reason behind sustaining only IBM’s protest was mentioned in the statement by the government’s general counsel, Susan Poling,

.We sustain the protest because the agency’s adjustment of scenario prices was unreasonable in that it did not result in evaluation on a common basis, and because the agency materially relaxed a solicitation term for the awarded during post-selection negotiations..

This CIA contract is viewed as a crucial one for AWS as it aims to deploy cloud setups for government agencies in different countries including Australia, Europe and New Zealand. The coming days will tell who ultimately wins this extremely appealing CIA cloud computing contract. Stay with us to stay updated.