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Amazon Protest of the Department of Defense's JEDI Cloud Contract Award to Microsoft

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[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

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In September 2017, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum calling for the adoption of a Department of Defense DOD enterprise-wide cloud services solution. As part of its ongoing technology modernization efforts, DOD sought to acquire a commercial cloud services solution known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure JEDI Cloud. In April 2019, DOD selected Microsoft and Amazon Web Services henceforth Amazon to contend for the contract award from qualified proposals submitted by IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle. In October 2019, DOD announced it had awarded the JEDI contract to Microsoft. The contract award process was contentious, attracting significant industry and congressional interest. Oracle filed pre-award bid protests with the Government Accountability Office GAO and U.S. Court of Federal Claims COFC. GAO and COFC ruled against Oracle however, Oracle is in the process of appealing the COFC decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In November 2019, Amazon filed a post-award bid protest with COFC, alleging potentially improper political influence in DODs award decision and clear deficiencies in the contract evaluation process. Many observers trace Amazons accusation of political influence in part to President Donald Trumps July 2019 remarks that his Administration would take a very strong look at the JEDI Cloud acquisition process. While Amazon was expected by some analysts to win the JEDI contract, due in part to its extensive data center infrastructure and compliance with DOD cloud security requirements for hosting classified information, other analysts have speculated that Microsoft prevailed over Amazon based on offering a lower-priced solution, as well as the companys existing business relationships with the Department.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Systems
  • Government and Political Science

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[A, Approved For Public Release]