Pentagon Sticks with Microsoft for JEDI Contract

The U.S. Department of Defense announced today that it will move forward with Microsoft as the winner of its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract.

“The Department has completed its comprehensive re-evaluation of the JEDI Cloud proposals and determined that Microsoft’s proposal continues to represent the best value to the Government,” a Pentagon statement reads. “The JEDI Cloud contract is a firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract that will make a full range of cloud computing services available to the DoD. While contract performance will not begin immediately due to the Preliminary Injunction Order issued by the Court of Federal Claims on February 13, 2020, DoD is eager to begin delivering this capability to our men and women in uniform.”

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The DOD awarded Microsoft with the JEDI contract in October 2019, outraging Amazon, which was widely understood to be the front-runner, and its co-founder Jeff Bezos, who feels that he and his company are being targeted for political reasons.

Thanks to a formal complaint from Amazon, the Department of Defense (DOD) reviewed the contract award and found in April that it was correct. But Microsoft revealed in May that Amazon had continued fighting the defeat, leading to a somewhat unhinged outburst from Amazon in the form of a lengthy public statement.

Microsoft was originally set to begin working on the JEDI project in February, but that was halted by a federal judge who ruled that the DoD had likely evaluated one of Microsoft’s storage offerings incorrectly. Amazon had argued that had this part of the contract been correctly evaluated, it would have won the contract. But today’s announcement indicates that while the DoD agrees it made a mistake, it wasn’t enough to impact the outcome.

And no, it’s not over yet: Amazon can continue contesting the contract, and most likely will.

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Conversation 20 comments

  • navarac

    04 September, 2020 - 4:19 pm

    <p>Sour grapes on Amazon's part?</p>

    • zhackwyatt

      Premium Member
      04 September, 2020 - 5:12 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#567818">In reply to navarac:</a></em></blockquote><p>It is 10 billion dollars. I wouldn't go down without a fight.</p>

      • Elwood P Suggins

        04 September, 2020 - 6:07 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#567875">In reply to zhackwyatt:</a></em></blockquote><p>Meanwhile, current and future service men and women, not to mention our country as well as our allies, will likely be subject to risks that very well could have been avoided.</p><p>But hey, Bezos is feeling his oats and all the lawyers are making bank – that's obviously what's most important in Washington.</p><p><br></p><p>Thank goodness we didn't have cloud computing during World War II, otherwise we'd be speaking German today.</p>

      • anoldamigauser

        Premium Member
        04 September, 2020 - 10:34 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#567875">In reply to zhackwyatt:</a></em></blockquote><p>$1 billion a year for 10 years is not going to significantly impact Amazon one way or the other. </p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        05 September, 2020 - 7:19 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#567875">In reply to zhackwyatt:</a></em></blockquote><p>It is 1 billion a year, a rounding error for Amazon's corporate entertainment allowance. </p>

    • jwdixonjr

      Premium Member
      07 September, 2020 - 9:32 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#567818">In reply to navarac:</a></em></blockquote><p>Anyone that has done time in the government or around the DC beltway knows that any contract that is substantial will get contested. Sometimes the losing contractor wins and sometimes they don't but seems to be the cost of doing business for contractors. Meaning, it's often worth a shot for them to see if they can recoup or you'll sometimes see the winner offer the losing firm a sub-contractor role for a portion of the business to not contest the contract. Always fascinating to see how business gets done when it comes to USG. </p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • will

    Premium Member
    04 September, 2020 - 4:48 pm

    <p>With an election coming up, and if Trump is not re-elected, I’m curious what a new administration would do? I think this is what Amazon is hoping and looking forward to? </p>

    • anoldamigauser

      Premium Member
      04 September, 2020 - 10:31 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#567839">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>I doubt that a new administration would do anything other than let the work get started. No one wins by holding the work up. In the scheme of things, a $10 billion / 10 year contract is nice, but hardly crucial to either company. </p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      05 September, 2020 - 7:17 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#567839">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>Why? Microsoft has the better record worth government cloud contacts. </p>

    • plm

      05 September, 2020 - 3:59 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#567839">In reply to will:</a></em></blockquote><p>There seems to be a lot of misunderstandings as to how major federal procurements like this happen. When I hear about the conspiracies between the Whitehouse and DOD against the Washington Post, etc., it reveals a total lack of understanding how federal procurement occurs. </p><p><br></p><p>No doubt corruption occurs in some procurements, but it's at much lower levels. Contractors influencing evaluators. Most of what we might describe as corruption occurs in preparing the procurement documents that are ultimately used to select the vendor. In some cases, the Congress gets involved to specify aspects of a procurement that favor specific congressional districts.</p><p><br></p><p>I suspect everyone involved in this procurement knew that it would be scrutinized because of the dollar value involved. That kept everyone at arm's length after the procurement entered the post-RFP development phase. </p><p><br></p><p>Probably wouldn't make an interesting book, but that's generally how it's done. Think about the DOD's purchase of the k-cars during the Carter/Reagan years. The A10 and the role congress played in that specification.</p><p><br></p><p>It's a matter of public record, but I've not done the research. When was the solicitation for proposals issued? When did the procurement begin? I wouldn't be surprised it was before January 2017.</p><p><br></p><p>The current occupant of the White House may be a bully. He may be corrupt. But I doubt this procurement was influenced by him at this late stage. Is there any evidence to the contrary? And a pissing match between the WH and Washington Post isn't evidence of specific acts here. It's an observation and an invitation to look more closely for dispositive evidence.</p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        06 September, 2020 - 9:34 am

        Two things.

        Nothing that happens under this administration is normal, so you can throw out whatever rule book these agencies were using in the past.

        And yes, there is evidence enough to wonder how the frontrunner in this contest was not awarded the contract.

        “The White House didn’t cooperate fully with its inquiry by issuing a ‘presidential communications privilege’ in which the general counsel was not allowed to ask White House staff ‘questions about potential communications between White House and DoD officials about JEDI.’ So it’s unclear how it arrived at this decision.”

        “[A] video of DoD CIO Dana Deasy’s confirmation hearing last month, in which he was asked by a senator if Trump had influenced the contract award. Deasy didn’t directly deny it.”

        “White House gagged officials from saying whether Donald Trump intervened in $10bn ‘JEDI’ Pentagon computing contract to stop it going to his enemy Jeff Bezos’ Amazon, IG reveals”

        • Odinson

          06 September, 2020 - 6:50 pm

          <blockquote><a href="#570442"><em>In reply to paul-thurrott:</em></a><em> On the other hand, since the 'resistance' leaked proprietary details about Microsoft's bid to Amazon they could just leak the communications between the WH and Pentagon — if they were helpful to Amazon's case. Since it hasn't already happened, don't hold your breath.</em></blockquote><blockquote><em>I think the Trump administration is done playing the perpetual "prove you're not corrupt" game.</em></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • yogesh

    04 September, 2020 - 5:45 pm

    <p>Shouldn't the line "<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">The U.S. Department of Justice announced today" be "The U.S. Department of Defense announced today".</span></p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      05 September, 2020 - 9:39 am

      Yes, thanks!

  • jdawgnoonan

    04 September, 2020 - 8:54 pm

    <p>I am happy to hear this. </p>

  • JH_Radio

    Premium Member
    04 September, 2020 - 8:56 pm

    <p>It probably doesn't help that Amazon is under antitrust scrutiny. </p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      05 September, 2020 - 9:35 am


  • ghostrider

    05 September, 2020 - 12:56 pm

    <p>Greater than 50% of the decision in a contract like this is political – a somewhat lesser part is technical – that's how the wheels turn. Let's hope it goes to plan, because transitions like this often don't</p><p><br></p>

  • MutualCore

    06 September, 2020 - 12:40 am

    <p>Amazon will continue to get court injunctions and simply wait out Trump's defeat. Then with a friendly Biden administration, the DOD will reverse back to Amazon.</p>

  • saint4eva

    07 September, 2020 - 3:00 am

    <p>That is the only right thing to do. </p>

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