After several delays, the long-pending decision on JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract appears to be heading to closure as the Department of Defense (DoD) has announced that it will stand by its decision to award the $10 billion contract to Microsoft, not Amazon. The decision was upheld after an investigation by the Pentagon. On 4th September, the DoD released its latest statement over the lucrative Cloud project that it has completed the investigation regarding the JEDI contract. The investigation was initiated to determine whether there were any discrepancies in the procurement process.
The DoD said that its investigation revealed that Microsoft’s proposal continues to offer the best value to the Government, adding that “contract performance will not begin immediately.” The delay comes because a court had issued a temporary injunction against the contract in February after Amazon’s lawsuit. Amazon claims that they were shut out of the contract because of President Donald Trump’s animosity towards Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Amazon asserts that the process of granting the contract had “clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias.”
The contract will provide Cloud Services to Pentagon, including primary storage and processing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the capability to process mission-critical workloads.
In October 2019, the Government had awarded the contract to Microsoft. However, in July 2019, President Trump said that he was looking into the contract following complaints about the bidding process, which instigated concerns around the decision being politically influenced. IBM and Oracle were also bidding for the contract but were dropped from the process in April 2018. However, Oracle also challenged the decision in court and lost its latest legal appeal earlier this week.
On Friday, Amazon released a post on its blog, wherein the Cloud giant stated that the company strongly disagreed with the decision, calling DoD’s reevaluation of the contract “nothing more than an attempt to validate a flawed, biased, and politically corrupted decision.” Amazon said that it would pursue a “fair, objective, and impartial review” of the process. The post further added, “The question we continue to ask ourselves is whether the President of the United States should be allowed to use the budget of the Department of Defense to pursue his own personal and political ends?”