NSA re-awards $ 10B cloud computing contract to AWS

The US National Security Agency has re-awarded a $ 10 billion cloud computing contract to Amazon Web Services Inc. after it was forced to review the contract.

Code-named WildandStormy, the contract was initially awarded to AWS in August. Because the deal concerns national security, the full details are not known but it’s believed to be part of the NSA’s attempt to modernize its primary classified data repository. The repository itself is thought to be a data fusion environment into which the agency aggregates much of the intelligence information it collects.

The stumbling block to AWS being awarded the contract came in October when the Government Accountability Office called on the NSA to reevaluate the proposals submitted by AWS and Microsoft Corp. after Microsoft challenged the awarding of the contract to AWS. The GAO said at the time that it “found certain aspects of the agency’s evaluation to be unreasonable and, in light thereof, recommended that the NSA reevaluate the proposals consistent with the decision and make a new source selection determination.”

In December, it was revealed that the GAO had ruled that the NSA had improperly assessed technical proposals from Microsoft “in a way that was inconsistent with the terms of the solicitation.” The GAO also recommended that the NSA reevaluate the proposal and potentially make a new source selection.

The NSA did reevaluate the proposals and decided to re-award the contract to AWS anyway.

In a statement to Fedscoop, an NSA spokesperson confirmed that AWS had been awarded the contract and that the “contract is a continuation of the NSA’s Hybrid Compute Initiative to modernize and address the robust processing and analytical requirements of the Agency.”

An AWS spokesperson said that the company was “honored that after a 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.”

This isn’t the first time AWS has successfully obtained a contract with a US government agency. AWS, along with Microsoft, Google LLC, Oracle Corp. and IBM Corp. have previously won contracts with the Central Intelligence Agency.

AWS is also bidding for a contract with the Department of Defense under its Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability procurement program. However, the awarding of contacts under the program has been pushed back until December.

Photo: Wikipedia

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