Pentagon seeks an extra 30 days to decide on JEDI cloud contract

Another month, another delay in the 10-year, $10 billion JEDI contract bake-off between Microsoft and AWS.

This week (Aug. 17, to be precise) was supposed to be the deadline for the Department of Defense to announce the winner of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. But last week, the Pentagon asked for an additional 30 days to issue its decision, which would make September 16 the new deadline.

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The Pentagon requested the 30-day delay on Aug. 10 via a court filing, as noted by Nextgov.com. FedScoop.com reported that the DoD "'identified areas of concern' in the revised proposals from Microsoft and Amazon 'resulting in multiple solicitation amendments, rounds of proposal revisions, and exchanges with the offerors' that have led it to need more time." FedScoop also said that AWS' and Microsoft's lawyers were not against the proposed delay, according to the DoD's lawyers.

In March, the DoD requested revised bids from AWS and Microsoft for the storage solutions component of the 10-year $10 billion JEDI contract. As of late July, the Pentagon still was expecting the JEDI award announcement by the end of August. 

After Microsoft was awarded the JEDI contract in October 2019, Amazon Web Services filed a suit claiming Trump's interference played a big part in Microsoft's win

Throughout much of the bidding process, Amazon was expected by many to be the triumphant bidder. In the later rounds, Amazon and Microsoft emerged as the two final bidders in the winner-take-all deal. (Google dropped out of the JEDI bidding late last year, while Oracle and IBM were eliminated earlier this year. ) 

But in August last year, the Pentagon said it was putting the JEDI contract on hold after Trump complained about potential conflicts of interest in the process. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has been targeted by Trump as a political thorn because of his ownership of The Washington Post.  The Pentagon's Inspector General said in April that Microsoft's win should stand and Trump didn't unduly influence the result.

The JEDI contract is designed to upgrade legacy DoD systems with newer cloud services. The JEDI Cloud will provide "enterprise-level, commercial IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) to the Department and any mission partners for all Department business and mission operations," the government said.