Pentagon postpones JEDI contract decision

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The multi-billion dollar contract to supply the Pentagon with full cloud computing capabilities has been put on hold by the US government over fears of prefential treatment towards one bidder.

The Trump administration has postponed the deicison after suggestions that Amazon was being unfairly favoured after other bidders complained abut possible discrimination.

Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure were the final two contestants for the deal following months of deliberation, but the process could now be delayed even further.

JEDI mind tricks

The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is rumoured to be worth around $10 billion to the winning bidder, making it an incredibly prestige win.

Along with Amazon and Microsoft, IBM and Oracle also submitted bids, but later both dropped out of the process soon after.

However Oracle later complained against the deicison, expressing concerns that a former Amazon employee was allegedly working for the Defence Department and had recused himself because of possible conflicts of interest. Later, he left the Department and re-joined Amazon within the company's AWS arm.

Pentagon spokeswoman Elissa Smith said the newly-appointed Defence Secretary Mark Esper was reviewing accusations of unfairness, with the deal unable to progress until this was complete.

“Keeping his promise to Members of Congress and the American public, Secretary Esper is looking at the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure program,” Smith said in a statement on Thursday.

Amazon has not made any statement on the news yet, but the JEDI contract is becoming an increasingly controversial detail in US government dealings. Four Republican lawmakers recently urged President Trump to move forward with the contract, saying the delays were hurting national security.

The President has had several run-ins with Amazon and its foudner Jeff Bezos, who also owns the notoriously anti-Tump Washington Post.

Via Reuters

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.