Published in Cloud

US judge uses JEDI mind hold

by on20 April 2020

Suspends Amazon’s case against Microsoft

A US judge held a case by Amazon challenging the Pentagon’s decision to award a $10 billion contract to Microsoft.

Judge Patricia Campbell-Smith granted the Pentagon’s request to halt further action on the lawsuit to allow the military to reconsider aspects of the decision being challenged by Amazon, originally considered to be the favourite to win the award. She ordered the case to remain on hold until August 17 but said it could be extended or shortened depending on the length of the review.

The Joint Enterprise Défense Infrastructure, or JEDI, the cloud computing contract, has been the centre of a row after Amazon lost the tender to Microsoft.

The Amazon lawsuit, filed in November, said the Defense Department’s decision was full of “egregious errors” which were a result of “improper pressure from President Donald Trump, who launched repeated public and behind-the-scenes attacks” to steer the contract away from Amazon “to harm his perceived political enemy”, Amazon head Jeff Bezos.

Trump has publicly derided Bezos and accused the Washington Post newspaper, owned by Bezos, failed to say how wonderful he was, the best president in the history, and the Messiah.

Campbell-Smith released an opinion on March 7 that said Amazon was likely to succeed on a key argument of its challenge, namely “the merits of its argument that the DOD improperly evaluated” Microsoft’s data storage in one price scenario.

She said Amazon is likely to show that Microsoft’s scenario was not “technically feasible” as the Pentagon assessed.

She did not appear interested in Trump or address Amazon’s claims of improper influence.

The Pentagon had said it would reconsider its evaluation of the technical aspects of the scenario cited by the judge if she sent the contract back to the military for further review. The Pentagon added that would give it the “opportunity to reconsider the award decision at issue in light of Amazon’s allegations”.

Defence Secretary Mark Esper has rejected that there was bias and said the Pentagon made its choice fairly and freely without external influence.


Last modified on 21 April 2020
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