Re: A switched-on Client
The reality is, the whole government bidding and contracting system is broken; from both the customer (govt) and vendor sides. The govt RFQ has gone through 7.6247 agencies and 25x that many committies, to ensure compliance, that the original goal is so obfuscated, spindled and contorted that the only possible deliverable will not be fit for purpose/contractually compliant without reams of meetings, comittee reviews, change orders and testing.
As a vendor you have to build some of that into the original contract but it's a fine line to walk. Too much and you're accused of attempting to bilk the govt, too little and you lose money. Any vendor who has ever had a large govt contract knows this, including IBM, so you try to write contracts that never end so there's less chance of underbidding.
Amazon is famous for their loss leading strategies and this will certainly be a loser for them, but maybe they can segue it into a longterm success, who knows. The fact of the matter is that government procurement is fundamentally broken and over time has evolved into the most convoluted scheme imaginable; all at the expense of the taxpayer.