Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure

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The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract was a large United States Department of Defense cloud computing contract which has been reported as being worth $10 billion[1][2] over ten years. JEDI was meant to be a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) implementation of existing technology, while providing economies of scale to DoD.

Controversy[edit]

Companies interested in the contract included Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle.[3] After protests from Google employees, Google decided to drop out of contention for the contract because of conflict with its corporate values.[4] The deal was considered "gift-wrapped for Amazon" until Oracle (co-chaired by Safra Catz) contested the contract, citing the National Defense Authorization Act over IDIQ contracts and the conflicts of interest from Deap Ubhi, who worked for Amazon both before and after his time in the Department of Defense. This led Eric G. Bruggink, senior judge of the United States Court of Federal Claims, to place the contract award on hold.[5][6]

In August 2019, weeks before the winner was expected to be announced, President Donald Trump ordered the contract placed on hold again for Defense Secretary Mark Esper to investigate complaints of favoritism towards Amazon.[7] In October 2019, it was announced that the contract was awarded to Microsoft. Media has noted Trump's dislike towards Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos, owner of the Washington Post, a newspaper critical of Trump.[8][9] According to Bezos, Trump "used his power to 'screw Amazon' out of the JEDI Contract".[10] The JEDI contract was awarded to Microsoft on October 25, 2019, the DoD announced,[11] but AWS filed documents with the Court of Federal Claims on November 22, 2019 challenging the award;[12] its legal strategy included calling Trump to testify.[13]

A federal judge, Patricia Campbell-Smith, halted Microsoft's work on the project on February 13, 2020, a day before the system was scheduled to go live, awaiting a resolution in Amazon's suit.[14] She said that Amazon's claims are reasonable and "is likely to succeed on the merits of its argument that the DOD improperly evaluated" Microsoft's offer.[15][16] As a result, the DOD was forced by a federal judge to reopen bidding for the contract. In the wake of that reopening, Amazon has filed additional protests related to modifications which have been made to selected sections of the contract.[17] Recent DOD legal filings have stated that the final award of the contract cannot take place until at least August 17, and may yet be delayed beyond that date as well.[18] On September 4, 2020, the Department of Defense reaffirmed that Microsoft won the JEDI Cloud contract after the reevaluation of the proposal, stating that Microsoft's proposal continues to represent the best value to the government. [19] DISA/CCPO (Defense Information Systems Agency/Cloud Computing Program Office) has not yet begun work, as of May 29, 2021, while Microsoft continued to mark time before an implementation.[20] In the meantime the several departments (Army, Navy, Air Force) are using their previous infrastructures to meet their several internal time lines, respectively.

Cancellation and JWCC[edit]

The JEDI contract with Microsoft was cancelled on July 6, 2021 with the expectation that a new program called "Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability" (JWCC) would replace it, which would involve services from multiple vendors.[21][22] On November 19, 2021 the Department of Defense issued formal solicitations to four of the original JEDI companies: Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Oracle; notably not including the fifth provider consulted, IBM.[23] JWCC contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of March 2022.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ron Miller (September 15, 2018) "Why the Pentagon's $10 Billion JEDI deal has cloud companies going nuts".
  2. ^ BARRY ROSENBERG (July 25, 2019) Change Or Scrap JEDI, Says IT Council: IT Acquisition Advisory Council (ITAAC)
  3. ^ Ron Miller (April 6, 2018) "The high-stakes battle for the Pentagon's winner-take-all cloud contract".
  4. ^ Rosalie Chan (October 9, 2018) "Google drops out of contention for a $10 billion defense contract because it could conflict with its corporate values". October 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Taibbi, Matt (February 25, 2019). "This Battle of Billionaires Was Inevitable". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 25, 2019. This started as a lawsuit filed by would-be bid competitor Oracle, whose co-CEO, Safra Catz, is reportedly one of Trump's biggest supporters in Silicon Valley. The suit suggested Pentagon procurement officer Deap Ubhi's involvement in the JEDI negotiations constituted a conflict. Ubhi used to work for Amazon and in 2017 tweeted, "Once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian."
  6. ^ Aaron Gregg (December 18, 2018). "'Once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian': Former Pentagon official's business ties draw scrutiny". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  7. ^ Selyukh, Alina (August 1, 2019). "Pentagon Pauses $10 Billion Contract That Embroiled Amazon In Controversy". NPR.org. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  8. ^ Novet, Jordan (October 25, 2019). "Microsoft snags hotly contested $10 billion defense contract, beating out Amazon". CNBC. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  9. ^ Staff, Washington Post. "Pentagon awards controversial $10 billion cloud computing deal to Microsoft, spurning Amazon". Washington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2019.
  10. ^ "Amazon lost $10B Pentagon contract because of Trump's 'personal vendetta,' lawsuit argues".
  11. ^ Tilley, John D. McKinnon and Aaron. "Pentagon Picks Microsoft for JEDI Cloud-Computing Contract Over Amazon". WSJ. Retrieved October 27, 2019.
  12. ^ Irish Times, Amazon sues Pentagon over $10bn Jedi contract, published December 9, 2019; accessed December 29, 2019.
  13. ^ Pentagon Scraps $10 Billion Contract With Microsoft, Bitterly Contested By Amazon
  14. ^ CNBC, Annie Palmer (Feb 13 2020) Judge temporarily blocks Microsoft Pentagon cloud contract after Amazon suit, published February 13, 2020, accessed February 13, 2020.
  15. ^ "U.S. judge says Amazon likely to succeed on key argument in contract challenge". Reuters. March 7, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  16. ^ Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. (May 04, 2020) Experts Debate: Should JEDI Cloud Be Saved? Protracted lawsuits are likely without another way out
  17. ^ "AWS files yet another JEDI protest, challenges DoD's process for reconsidering the contract". Federal News Network. May 7, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "The JEDI contract will not be awarded until at least August". Nextgov. June 19, 2020. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  19. ^ "DOD Reaffirms Original JEDI Cloud Award to Microsoft". defense.gov. September 4, 2020. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  20. ^ Eversden, Andrew (May 29, 2021). "After uncertainty around its future, Pentagon will continue defending the JEDI cloud". C4ISRNet.
  21. ^ Feiner, Lauren; Macias, Amanda (July 6, 2021). "Pentagon cancels $10 billion JEDI cloud contract that Amazon and Microsoft were fighting over". CNBC. Archived from the original on July 6, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  22. ^ Burns, Robert. "Pentagon cancels disputed JEDI cloud contract with Microsoft". finance.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on July 6, 2021. Retrieved July 6, 2021.
  23. ^ Serbu, Jared (November 19, 2021). "DoD picks Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Oracle for multibillion dollar project to replace JEDI Cloud". Federal News Network. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  24. ^ Serbu, Jared (December 10, 2021). "In JWCC cloud procurement, Pentagon plans a novel approach to competition". Federal News Network. Retrieved February 16, 2022.