Reuters has reported that U.S judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith has put Amazon’s lawsuit challenging the Pentagon’s decision to award a $10 billion to Microsoft on hold until August 17th. The judge’s decision stops further action in Amazon’s lawsuit to give the military time to reconsider aspects of the decision being challenged by Amazon.
According to Reuters, the decision was based on the Pentagons indication that it would reconsider its evaluation if the judge sent the contract back to the military for further review. The Pentagon added that would give it the “opportunity to reconsider the award decision at issue in light of (Amazon’s) allegations.”
Amazon has claimed in their lawsuit that the Pentagon’s decision to award Microsoft the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing contract was full of errors and was likely due to pressure from President Donald Trump. In Judge Campbell-Smiths opinion on March 7th, she indicated that Amazon would likely succeed on a key argument that Microsoft’s data storage scenario was not feasible and that Pentagon has reviewed this scenario incorrectly.
Last Friday, the Office of the Inspector General (IG) released its own report finding that Microsoft had in fact been awarded correctly and that Amazon had been given details of Microsoft’s proprietary submission improperly including the strengths, weaknesses, and deficiencies in Microsoft’s proposal that appear to have been used during Amazon’s award debriefing process. The IG’s report said that it could not fully determine whether the White House influenced the award process, but did indicate that no review persons involved in the decision process indicated that they felt no pressure from senior leadership. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has denied that there was any bias or influence on the decision process.
Neither Amazon nor Microsoft have as of yet commented on the judge’s decision.