Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is a large United States Department of Defense cloud computing contract which has been reported as being worth $10 billion.[1][2]

Companies interested in the contract included Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and REAN Cloud, part of Hitachi Data Systems.[3] After protests from Google employees, Google decided to drop out of contention for the contract because of conflict with its corporate values.[4]

The deal was considered "gift-wrapped for Amazon" until Oracle (co-chaired by Safra Catz) contested the awarding of the contract to Amazon Web Services (led by Jeff Bezos), citing the National Defense Authorization Act over IDIQ contracts and the conflicts of interest from Deap Ubhi, who worked for Amazon both before and after his time in the Department of Defense. This led Eric G. Bruggink, senior judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, to place the contract award on hold.[5][6]

In August 2019, weeks before the winner was expected to be announced, President Donald Trump ordered the contract placed on hold again for Defense Secretary Mark Esper to investigate complaints of favoritism towards Amazon.[7] In October 2019, it was announced that the contract was awarded to Microsoft. Media has noted Trump's dislike towards Amazon's founder, Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, a newspaper critical of Trump.[8][9] According to Bezos, Trump "used his power to 'screw Amazon' out of the JEDI Contract".[10]

The JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft on October 25, 2019, the DoD announced,[11] but AWS filed documents with the Court of Federal Claims on 22 November 2019 challenging the award.[12]

A federal judge Patricia Campbell-Smith halted Microsoft's work on the project on February 13, 2020, a day before the system was scheduled to go live, awaiting a resolution in Amazon's suit.[13] She said that Amazon's claims are reasonable and “is likely to succeed on the merits of its argument that the DOD improperly evaluated” Microsoft's offer.[14][15] As a result, the DOD was forced by a federal judge to reopen bidding for the contract. In the wake of that reopening, Amazon has filed additional protests related to modifications which have been made to selected sections of the contract.[16] Recent DOD legal filings have stated that the final award of the contract cannot take place until at least August 17, and may yet be delayed beyond that date as well.[17]

On September 4, 2020, the Department of Defense reaffirmed that Microsoft won the JEDI Cloud contract after the reevaluation of the proposal, stating that Microsoft's proposal continues to represent the best value to the government. [18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Ron Miller (15 September 2018) "Why the Pentagon's $10 Billion JEDI deal has cloud companies going nuts".
  2. ^ BARRY ROSENBERG (July 25, 2019) Change Or Scrap JEDI, Says IT Council: IT Acquisition Advisory Council (ITAAC)
  3. ^ Ron Miller (06 April 2018) "The high-stakes battle for the Pentagon's winner-take-all cloud contract".
  4. ^ Rosalie Chan (09 October 2018) "Google drops out of contention for a $10 billion defense contract because it could conflict with its corporate values". 9 October 2018.
  5. ^ Taibbi, Matt (25 February 2019). "This Battle of Billionaires Was Inevitable". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 February 2019. This started as a lawsuit filed by would-be bid competitor Oracle, whose co-CEO, Safra Catz, is reportedly one of Trump's biggest supporters in Silicon Valley. The suit suggested Pentagon procurement officer Deap Ubhi's involvement in the JEDI negotiations constituted a conflict. Ubhi used to work for Amazon and in 2017 tweeted, "Once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian."
  6. ^ Aaron Gregg (18 December 2018). "'Once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian': Former Pentagon official's business ties draw scrutiny". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  7. ^ Selyukh, Alina (August 1, 2019). "Pentagon Pauses $10 Billion Contract That Embroiled Amazon In Controversy". NPR.org. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Novet, Jordan (2019-10-25). "Microsoft snags hotly contested $10 billion defense contract, beating out Amazon". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  9. ^ Staff, Washington Post. "Pentagon awards controversial $10 billion cloud computing deal to Microsoft, spurning Amazon". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-10-25.
  10. ^ "Amazon lost $10B Pentagon contract because of Trump's 'personal vendetta,' lawsuit argues".
  11. ^ Tilley, John D. McKinnon and Aaron. "Pentagon Picks Microsoft for JEDI Cloud-Computing Contract Over Amazon". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  12. ^ Irish Times, Amazon sues Pentagon over $10bn Jedi contract, published 9 December 2019, accessed 29 December 2019
  13. ^ CNBC, Annie Palmer (Feb 13 2020) Judge temporarily blocks Microsoft Pentagon cloud contract after Amazon suit, published 13 February 2020, accessed 13 February 2020
  14. ^ "U.S. judge says Amazon likely to succeed on key argument in contract challenge". Reuters. 2020-03-07. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  15. ^ Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. (May 04, 2020) Experts Debate: Should JEDI Cloud Be Saved? Protracted lawsuits are likely without another way out
  16. ^ "AWS files yet another JEDI protest, challenges DoD's process for reconsidering the contract". Federal News Network. 2020-05-07. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  17. ^ "The JEDI contract will not be awarded until at least August". Nextgov. 2020-06-19. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  18. ^ "DOD Reaffirms Original JEDI Cloud Award to Microsoft". defense.gov. 2020-09-04. Retrieved 2020-09-28.