IBM (NYSE: IBM) has withdrawn its request to suspend a judge’s order restoring a $600 million cloud computing contract for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to Amazon.com (NYSE: AMZN), citing the government’s urgency to begin work on the project.
IBM withdrew its bid for a stay of U.S. Court of Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler’s Oct. 8 ruling in favor of Amazon after the Justice Department said in court papers that further delay in resolving the contract would bring “harm to the United States” and create “significant challenges” for the CIA.
Amazon sued the U.S. in July after the Government Accountability Office, the agency that makes recommendations on challenges to contracts, sided with IBM and agreed that the CIA had failed to properly evaluate prices and had waived a contract requirement only for Seattle-based Amazon.
“In light of the government’s recent submissions emphasizing its need to move forward on the contract, IBM has withdrawn its motion,” Clint Roswell, an IBM spokesman, said in a statement. “IBM maintains its position that the GAO’s findings were appropriate.”
Roswell declined to say what further action on the contract, if any, IBM would pursue.
Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Amazon, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Wheeler had granted Amazon’s request for judgment on the administrative record following a hearing earlier this month, according to a minute order posted on the court’s electronic docket.
“We are disappointed with the ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, reversing the GAO’s recommendation to reopen the competition and correct flaws in the bidding process,” IBM said in an e-mailed statement after the initial ruling.
The full statement as published by CNET reads:
“We are disappointed with the ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, reversing the GAO’s recommendation to reopen the competition and correct flaws in the bidding process,” the company said in a statement. “IBM plans to appeal this decision. This court decision seems especially inappropriate in light of the current times, since IBM’s bid was superior in many ways, including being substantially more cost-effective. In addition, IBM has for decades supplied the government with proven mission-critical operations. The company remains committed to provide secure, reliable and robust cloud solutions to federal agencies.”
Both the complaint and Amazon’s request for a ruling in its favor were filed under seal, as was the requests by the Justice Department and IBM for a ruling in their favor.