On Friday, the Department of Defense (DOD) released a statement confirming its decision, earlier this year, to award Microsoft a $10 billion cloud-computing Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract. In the meantime, Amazon is holding up the contract claiming President Trump is to blame.
The DOD claims it has completed a “comprehensive re-evaluation of the JEDI Cloud proposals and determined that Microsoft’s proposal continues to represent the best value to the Government.”
It will be a “firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity project.” The contract will provide a “full range of cloud computing services available to the DOD.” the statement confirms.
Contract performance is being held up by a Preliminary Injunction Order issued Court of Federal Claims injunction obtained by Amazon to stop all work on the project.
Pending resolution of the injunction, the Pentagon is “eager to begin delivering this capability to our men and women in uniform.”
The DOD awarded Microsoft the contract in October 2019. Within a month Amazon filed suit under the Tucker Act to allow losing contractors “bid protest” rights for government contracts. Amazon claimed that President Trump showed improper “unmistakable bias” and influenced the decision to award the contract to Microsoft rather than Amazon.
President Trump has made no secret of the fact that he did not want the contract to go to Amazon, owned by Jeff Bezos.
Amazon injunction stops the JEDI project
Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, and IBM are among those that submitted proposals.
Amazon’s protest prompted a Pentagon’s watchdog investigation and report, released in April. The department’s inspector general said it was unable to rule on the issue because the Pentagon’s general counsel instructed witnesses not to answer questions about conversations between the White House and Pentagon due to “the assertion of a presidential communications privilege.’”
IBM and Oracle argued that the conflict of interest was within the DOD and Amazon since a former Amazon employee helped write the requirements for the initial call for contract proposals and was involved in the project planning (presumably keeping Amazon in the loop).
However, on Thursday the Court of Appeals denied Oracle’s argument.
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