AWS to appeal 'biased' JEDI contract ruling

Cloud giant suggests "political influence" led the Pentagon to award the $10bn contract to Microsoft

AWS has suggested the evaluation process for the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud computing contract contained "unmistakable bias".

The cloud giant has said it intends to appeal the Department of Defence's decision to award the contract to Microsoft.

The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is a ¢10 billion project to modernise the Pentagon's IT systems. Major cloud computing companies such as IBM, Oracle, Google and AWS were involved in a controversial bidding process with Microsoft announced as the eventual winner in October.

This didn't go down well with Amazon's cloud computing arm which initially said it was "surprised" with the decision and is now challenging it.

"AWS is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the US military needs and remains committed to supporting the DoD's modernisation efforts," an AWS spokesperson said.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

"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."

Donald Trump called his Pentagon Secretary James Mattis and directed him to "screw Amazon" out of a chance to bid on the JEDI contract, according to Mattis' book 'Holding The Line: Inside Trump's Pentagon with Secretary Mattis'. It was written by Guy Snodgrass, who served as a speechwriter for Mattis, and reports of the quote surfaced around the time Microsoft was awarded the JEDI contract.

Trump and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos have a famous disliking for one another and there was already a suggestion that this had influenced the DoD's final decision. In July the president became "concerned" with how the bidding was going after complaints other cloud providers were being unfairly excluded - AWS was the favourite at the time.

Oracle is also taking legal action against the DoD's final decision, however, its argument is actually against AWS. It claims that two DoD officials were offered jobs at Amazon while they worked on the JEDI contract and that another was a former AWS consultant.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper rejected any suggestion of bias. According to Reuters, he told a news conference in Seoul: "I am confident it was conducted freely and fairly, without any type of outside influence."

Advertisement - Article continues below

Esper removed himself from reviewing the deal in October as his son was employed by IBM.

Featured Resources

Digitally perfecting the supply chain

How new technologies are being leveraged to transform the manufacturing supply chain

Download now

Three keys to maximise application migration and modernisation success

Harness the benefits that modernised applications can offer

Download now

Your enterprise cloud solutions guide

Infrastructure designed to meet your company's IT needs for next-generation cloud applications

Download now

The 3 approaches of Breach and Attack Simulation technologies

A guide to the nuances of BAS, helping you stay one step ahead of cyber criminals

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/25802/17-windows-10-problems-and-how-to-fix-them
operating systems

17 Windows 10 problems - and how to fix them

13 Jan 2020
Visit/microsoft-windows/32066/what-to-do-if-youre-still-running-windows-7
Microsoft Windows

What to do if you're still running Windows 7

14 Jan 2020
Visit/web-browser/30394/what-is-http-error-503-and-how-do-you-fix-it
web browser

What is HTTP error 503 and how do you fix it?

7 Jan 2020
Visit/policy-legislation/general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/354577/data-protection-fines-hit-ps100m
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Data protection fines hit £100m during first 18 months of GDPR

20 Jan 2020