The Department of Defense is canceling its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure( JEDI) massed contract. The Pentagon said it “initiated contract termination procedures” in a press release it shared on Tuesday , note “the Department has determined that, due to evolving requirements, increased massed conversancy, and manufacture advances, the JEDI Cloud contract no longer meets its needs.”
With JEDI, the Defense Department had planned to modernize its IT infrastructure, but the contract hadn’t moved forward since the Pentagon awarded it to Microsoft in 2019 on account of a legal challenge from Amazon. One month after JEDI went to Redmond, Amazon filed a formal challenge with the US Court of Federal Claims, alleging the Pentagon pictured “unmistakable bias” where reference is assessed the two companies.
When the lawsuit was eventually unsealed later that same year, it came out that Amazon believed it lost the contract due to interference from former President Donald Trump. Harmonizing to the company, Trump “used his supremacy to’ clamp Amazon’ out of the JEDI Contract as part of his highly world personal vendetta against Mr. Bezos, Amazon and The Washington Post.”
Following an internal audit, the Pentagon’s examiner general released each of these reports that said it saw no proofs that the Trump Administration had interfered with the procurement process. At the same time, it noted that various White House officials did not cooperate with the probe. As such, it had not been possible to definitively determine whether the administration had affected the process.
Shortly after the Defense Department announced it wasn’t is progressing with JEDI, Microsoft published a blog post on government decisions. “We understand the DOD’s rationale, and we support them and every armed representative who needs the mission-critical 21 st century technology JEDI would have equipped. The DOD faced a difficult choice: continues its what could be a years-long litigation battle or find another road forward, ” the company said. “The security of the United Commonwealth is more important than any single contract, and we know that Microsoft will do well when the commonwealth does well.”
Microsoft went on to say the episode highlights the need for lawmakers to look at the challenge process. “The 20 months since DOD selected Microsoft as its JEDI partner foregrounds issues that warrant the attention of policymakers: when one company can retard, for years, critical engineering modernizes for those who defend our nation, the protest process needs reform, ” it said.
“We understand and agreed to accept the DOD’s decision. Unfortunately, the contract apportion was not based on the merits of the proposals and instead is the fruit of outside force that has no place in government procurement, ” a spokesperson for Amazon said. “Our commitment to supporting our nation’s military and ensuring that our warfighters and defense collaborators have access to the best technology at the best price is stronger than ever. We look forward to continuing to support the DOD’s modernization efforts and building answers that help reach their critical missions.”
Alongside the cancelation, the Pentagon announced a new multi-vendor contract called the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability( JWCC ). The busines plans to collect the proposals put forward by both Amazon and Microsoft. It asserts they’re the two vendors best suited to meet its needs, though it also plans to see if other companies can help it modernise its IT infrastructure. The Defense Department told CNBC and other outlets during a call that it expects to award the first direct JWCC contracts in 2022, with the procurement process to open more broadly as soon as 2025. It also said the litigation with Amazon wasn’t the primary intellect for the cancelation of JEDI. “The mission needs have been our primary operator on this, ” John Sherman, the DOD acting chief information officer, said.
Update 3:29 PM ET: Added comment from Amazon.
Read more: engadget.com