The Pentagon is weighing abandoning the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract amid ongoing legal challenges from Amazon.
Microsoft shocked the industry when it beat out Amazon for a coveted contract to provide cloud services to the Department of Defense (DOD). Amazon was widely considered the favorite, especially when factoring in its long history of working on sensitive government projects.
Amazon immediately took the matter to court, and has effectivelykept the Pentagon from being able to move forward for a year and a half. Given the Pentagon’s need to move to a cloud-based solution, further legal fighting may simply not be a viable option. In February, the DOD warned Congress it may have to reevaluate the contract if Amazon’s legal challenges persisted.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the time for that reevaluation may be now. A judge refused to dismiss much of Amazon’s case, guaranteeing the legal fight is far from over. With that prospect, the DOD is signaling it may change direction.
“We’re going to have to assess where we are with regard to the ongoing litigation around JEDI and determine what the best path forward is for the department,” Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks said.
Throughout the process, Microsoft has maintained it won the bid based on its competitive solution, and that Amazon abused the process to get details on Microsoft’s bid and make adjustments accordingly. If the Pentagon goes for a mulligan, Microsoft may have the chance to prove just how competitive it claims to be.