The U.S. Court of Federal Claims issued an order today that temporarily halts any new work on the Defense Department’s (DoD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud services contract, according to numerous reports.
The court ordered the temporary halt until it finishes sorting out a protest that was brought last year by Amazon Web Services of the $10 billion contract – won by Microsoft in October 2019. AWS has claimed that political pressures influenced DoD’s decision on the contract. The company said last month it would seek an injunction halting work under the contract until resolution of its bid protest.
According to reports, Microsoft officials expressed disappointment with today’s court order, along with confidence that it will be able to move forward with the contract work, while DoD officials expressed similar sentiments.
The Pentagon said in December that it began development of its JEDI environment, and that JEDI’s unclassified cloud computing infrastructure would be built out over the following two months, with a secret environment ready in six months’ time.
In Capitol Hill testimony in late October, DoD CIO Dana Deasy pushed back on the notion of political interference in the JEDI contract award process. He explained to senators that he was advised in the decision by independent teams of government and civilian cloud experts, and that award of the contract was not influenced by outside parties including the White House.