The Pentagon canceled its massive JEDI cloud contract awarded to Microsoft in 2019 and announced it will begin a new effort two years after President Donald Trump publicly disparaged the program, the department announced Tuesday.
The decision comes a year after a federal court ruled that the Pentagon stop work on the contract after siding with former bidder Amazon, which argued in a 2019 lawsuit that it lost the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract to Microsoft because Trump derided the company and its founder, Jeff Bezos.
In July of 2019, for example, Trump said he had heard complaints from lawmakers and companies about its process for deciding on the award, adding that he planned to ask the Pentagon “to look at it very closely to see what's going on.”
The high-profile contract, which could have been worth up to $10 billion over 10 years, would have established a common computing and data storage system for the military. It also would have allowed for secure information sharing across the Defense Department.
The JEDI program was thrust into the spotlight during the summer of 2019 after Trump took a personal interest in the competition ahead of the contract award, publicly raising questions about whether it unfairly favored Amazon. Trump has publicly feuded with Amazon founder Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, since his 2016 presidential campaign.
Now, the department intends to launch a new cloud effort, the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability, or JWCC. The new program will go to more than one vendor and involve multiple awards and have a performance period of no more than five years.
The Pentagon will seek proposals from a limited number of sources, namely Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, as market research indicates these vendors are the only ones capable of meeting the department’s requirements. However, officials will “immediately” engage with industry and continue research to determine if any other cloud service providers could compete.
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