The Pentagon cancelled a highly sensitive $10 billion Jedi cloud computing contract. Grant Microsoft, draws a line in the controversial government bidding process that was compromised by the intervention claimed by Donald Trump.
The U.S. Department of Defense said on Tuesday that it will change its decision to hand over most of the data and communications to a company and will initiate new procurement procedures.
This decision may end the long-term legal dispute caused by the 2019 decision to award the so-called joint enterprise defense infrastructure contract to Microsoft alone.
Amazon accused then-President Trump of exerting pressure on the Pentagon to award contracts to its competitors because he was hostile to founder Jeff Bezos.
John Sherman, acting chief information officer of the Pentagon, said: “The department has determined that due to changing needs, increased cloud computing capabilities and industry advancements, the Jedi Cloud contract no longer meets its needs.”
The department said it would seek new proposals cloud computing It has signed contracts with Microsoft and Amazon, but it said it will continue to conduct market research to see if other companies can meet its requirements.
Toni Townes-Whitley, the president of Microsoft responsible for the U.S. regulatory industry, said in a statement Blog post: “We respect and accept [the] The Department of Defense decided to take a different path to protect mission-critical technology. “
An Amazon Web Services spokesperson said: “We understand and agree with the Department of Defense’s decision. Unfortunately, the contract award is not based on the merits of the proposal, but the result of external influence, and has no place in government procurement.”
The Jedi contract should be the core of the U.S. military’s push to move most of its computing business from physical services to cloud computing.
But this process is full of controversy and is plagued by delays. It was shelved in 2019, when one of the original bidders, Oracle, appealed the decision to include only Microsoft and Amazon on the shortlist.
After Trump complained about “great companies” opposing this process, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reviewed it at the last minute.
When the Trump administration finally decided to award the contract to Microsoft, Amazon immediately filed a legal appeal. Amazon accused the government of running a biased procedure.
Trump often clashed with Bezos, often accusing Bezos’s “Washington Post” of unfairly attacking him.
Amazon filed an appeal in 2019, but Microsoft said on Tuesday that it expects the legal process to be delayed for another year.
Microsoft also called for reforms to the system that allows companies to protest government procurement decisions, accusing Amazon of “delaying”[ing]Over the years, we have provided key technological upgrades for those who defend our country. “
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