Pentagon expressing doubts about JEDI-contract with Microsoft

Get a free Techzine subscription!

The U.S. Department of Defense wants to reconsider a 10 billion dollar (9 billion euro) cloud contract (the JEDI-contract) that it awarded to Microsoft. It has requested permission to do so from the court.

A month ago, an American court approved a request from competitor AWS, which temporarily prevented the Pentagon and Microsoft from continuing the deal. According to AWS, President Donald Trump personally intervened in the selection procedure. A personal preference for Microsoft would have been a more decisive factor than the quality of the services.

Reconsideration

U.S. government attorneys have now filed a request to grant the Pentagon 120 days as a cooldown period. During this period, the Pentagon wants to reconsider ‘certain aspects’, the application states.

The document states the following about the cooling-off period: “in the interest of justice, it gives the agency the opportunity to reconsider the award decision in view of the claims of AWS”. This is a concession that there may be problems with the award decision.

AWS indicates to Reuters that it is satisfied with current developments. “We are pleased that the Ministry of Defence recognises substantial and legitimate problems with the JEDI award decision and that corrective measures are necessary.

A Microsoft spokesman states that the Pentagon made the right decision when the contract was awarded.

Controversial contract

Before Microsoft pulled in the contract, there was also commotion around JEDI. For example, there was criticism that the Pentagon ‘only’ opted for one cloud, while deploying multiple cloud platforms is seen as better and more modern for large organisations.

Incidentally, for a long time it looked as if AWS would win the contract.