Microsoft is protesting the way a cloud services contract was handled by the state of Iowa’s Department of Administrative services. Microsoft is has filed a suit against the state claiming that state’s department of administrative services did not adhere to its own requirements about the terms of its contracts. Microsoft claims that they were disqualified from a contract bidding process due to a requirement involving experience.
The project was then awarded to Tempus Nova, a company that was a bidding partner with Google, Inc. Microsoft mentions in their suit that they believe the state of Iowa waived many of their core requirements in order to usher Tempus Nova to the forefront of the selection process. Microsoft is crying foul over the process, citing the project represented a $7M revenue stream.
It’s important to note that the suit says, “Microsoft has that experience and is, in fact, one of the most experienced public sector cloud vendors in the United States.”
Microsoft says that the Tempus Nova solution defies the state of Iowa’s own requirements since the Tempus Nova solution does not have the ability to work with Microsoft products. A report by Erin Jordan of the Iowa Gazette goes on to say that Microsoft Word and Excel documents are critical to the state. The file formats are currently used in background checks for vendors who will work on site. Microsoft reiterates in the lawsuit that the FBI requires background checks for those requesting access to computers.
If Microsoft’s allegations are true, reports indicate that those in the Iowa Department of Transportation would not be able to use the cloud that the state of Iowa has built for government use. Microsoft also alleges that Tempus Nova does not comply with Iowa’s Open Records law since it allegedly lacks the ability to retain data. The lawsuit first started with an appeal back in September of 2014. Each time Microsoft’s case was heard, the appeals committee sided with Iowa’s Department of Administrative Services. Iowa’s DAS did not provide comment to reporters on this story.