Amazon to challenge Pentagon’s $10 billion JEDI contract to Microsoft

Amazon claims unmistakable bias

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Amazon is to protest a Pentagon decision to award Microsoft a massive cloud-computing contract worth up to $10 billion, after the Pentagon awarded the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract to Microsoft last month.

In awarding the contract to Microsoft, the Pentagon said it was making its decision on merits and without regard to political considerations. But in its statement Thursday, Amazon suggested that it believed the Pentagon was improperly influenced by Trump.

“AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the U.S. military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD’s modernisation efforts,” Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said in a statement.

“We also believe it’s critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence. Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified.”

The loss of the JEDI contract was a significant financial disappointment for Amazon. Amazon is also the only company to hold the Defense Department’s highest-level security certification, called Impact Level 6. Microsoft says it has made enormous progress on Level 6 certification and will be ready by the time JEDI is implemented.

The JEDI contract, announced in March 2018, is designed to modernise the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure in the hands of a commercial tech company. For more than a year, the Pentagon faced harsh criticism that the procurement was written with Amazon in mind.

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