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Cloud

Amazon Web Services aims to stop JEDI roll-out

Amazon Web Services has asked for a temporary pause in the Defense Department's work with Microsoft on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure Enterprise cloud contract.

In a six-page joint status report filed Jan. 13, attorneys representing all sides of the case before the Court of Federal Claims said AWS intends to file a motion to request that the judge issue a restraining order that prevents DOD from issuing task orders to Microsoft for the project.

Lawyers for DOD, AWS and Microsoft have all agreed to an expedited briefing schedule on the issue of whether an injunction is warranted. Microsoft is participating in the case as an intervenor-defendant, given it was selected for the potential $10 billion contract in October.

The attorneys’ proposed schedule would see Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith decide on whether to order a halt on the project on Feb. 11 after a series of motions and responses from all sides.

From the inception of its case in November, AWS has said it held the right to request an injunction even though DOD agreed to not start any work on the JEDI project beyond discussions and initial preparatory activities until at least Feb. 11.

Attorneys representing DOD indicated they may contest AWS’ push for a ruling to pause the project on grounds that the company could have done so earlier.

In December, DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy said the department wants the unclassified portion of JEDI stood up by mid-February. The classified piece would follow six months later, then the top secret layer after that.

AWS claims the JEDI source selection was affected by political influence, including public comments by President Donald Trump against Amazon and its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. AWS also claims that influence from Trump and other senior White House and DOD officials made its way into how proposals were evaluated, and hence swayed the final award to Microsoft.

Lawyers for the government have filed the classified portion of the case's administrative record to explain how DOD carried out the JEDI acquisition and source selection process, but the status update indicates there is only a "very small amount" of classified information in the administrative record.

This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to Defense Systems.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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