Microsoft Retains JEDI Contract After DoD Investigation
After months of internal investigation, the Department of Defense has “reaffirmed” Microsoft as the winner of the $10 million Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract (JEDI).
The DoD released a brief statement on Friday stating that it had completed its comprehensive re-evaluation and concluded that Microsoft’s proposal still represents the best value for the Government.
This is a significant setback for Amazon which has been challenging the DoD contract award process since the beginning of 2019. After receiving proposals from major cloud operators like Google, IBM, and Oracle, the DoD awarded the contract to Microsoft. The JEDI win was widely regarded as a coup for Microsoft since Amazon Web Services (AWS), the dominant cloud platform, was the presumptive front-runner.
Amazon’s protest claimed that Trump had undue influence on the DoD’s decision. This was fueled by his public acrimonious relationship to Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO. Concerning the technical aspects, Amazon claimed that Microsoft’s bid was based on a “noncompliant cloud storage technology” that should have eliminated the company entirely.
A federal claims court requested an injunction against JEDI’s contract in February until the matter could be resolved. The DoD requested that the court grant three months for the DoD to “reconsider” its JEDI decision. However, that time was extended by one month in August. Friday’s announcement was made just as the clock was closing on the extension.
Amazon posted a harsh post on its public sector blog calling the DoD’s decision “flawed” as well as accusing the agency of bowing to Trump’s “political interference”. Amazon stated that it will continue to protest the JEDI win by Microsoft.
“These are difficult decisions to make and we don’t take them lightly. We won’t back down in face of targeted political corruption or illusive corrective actions and we will continue to pursue a fair and objective review,” the company wrote.
DoD, for its part, stated in its statement that it could not proceed with the JEDI contract work because of the ongoing injunction. “While contract performance will be delayed due to the Preliminary Injunction Order dated February 13, 2020 by the Court of Federal Claims, DoD is eager start delivering this capability our men and women of uniform.”