$10b National Security Agency contract re-awarded to AWS

Microsoft won, Amazon complained. Amazon won, Microsoft complained. Amazon won... again

The US National Security Agency (NSA) has re-awarded a once-secret $10 billion cloud computing services contract to AWS following protests from Microsoft.

The contract, codenamed "Wild and Stormy," is the successor of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) IT contract, awarded to Microsoft in 2019, and later killed off by the Pentagon after several protests from rivals including Oracle and Amazon.

Wild and Stormy (aka WANDS) was subsequently awarded to AWS by the NSA, and it was Microsoft's turn to unleash its legal team. A protest was filed with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and was upheld. By way of explanation, the GAO pointed to problems with the evaluation of the proposals and instructed the NSA to perform it again. Should Microsoft win in the re-run then the AWS contract was to be terminated.

But the NSA has selected AWS once again, it confirmed to The Register, after news emerged from a report in Nextgov.

A spokesperson for the NSA told The Register that it "recently awarded a contract to Amazon Web Services that delivers cloud computing services to support the Agency's mission."

"This contract," the spokesperson added, "is a continuation of NSA's Hybrid Compute Initiative to modernize and address the robust processing and analytical requirements of the Agency.

"The same cloud services were competed last year and the previously awarded contract was protested to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO sustained that protest in October 2021. Consistent with the decision in that case, the Agency has re-evaluated the proposals and made a new best value decision."

An AWS spokesperson said: "We're honored that after thorough review, the NSA selected AWS as the cloud provider for the Hybrid Compute Initiative, and we're ready to help deliver this critical national security capability."

We asked Microsoft for its reaction to the award. The company has yet to respond. ®

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