Google sues Interior over cloud RFQ

Alleges favortism for Microsoft

Google is suing the Interior Department for allegedly excluding Google's products in a request for quotation the agency issued on Aug. 30. The RFQ, for hosted e-mail and collaboration services, specifies that the proposed solutions must be part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite.

According to the court filing, Google officials had met with the Interior department several times, and pursued discussions in correspondence, in an effort to convince the department that Google's applications were capable of handling Interior's needs, and that they should also be considered as a possible solution.

Read the court filing here.

Ultimately, however, Interior limited its scope to Microsft with the requisite Limited Sourcing Justification document, telling Google officials that Microsoft offered unified/consolidated e-mail and better security than Google Apps.

Onix Networking Corp., a cloud reseller, is a co-plaintiff in the suit, filed Oct. 29 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

According to a report on the blog techdirt, the Government Accountability Office dismissed Google's protest against the RFQ on the grounds that Google is not an "interested party" because it does not have a General Services Administration schedules contract.

According to InformationWeek, Google unsuccessfully made a similar claim in October when California's state government awarded a hosted e-mail contract to Microsoft.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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Reader comments

Tue, Nov 2, 2010

Google has just demonstrated that it is NOT a viable vendor in the Federal market space. If it doesn't even know how the procurement game is played, the likelihood is very strong that it cannot adequately comply with relevant Federal law and regulations should it be awarded a contract. FYI - Any Federal contractor looking to cloud computing should review the export control issues that forced the government into a special environment. The penalties for inadvertent export far outweigh any potential cost savings.

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