Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has moved the court to instruct Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) to halt the work on a $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud (JEDI) contract awarded by Pentagon until a verdict is out.
Military gets better access to data
Last week, Amazon said it would request the court to issue a restraining order to Microsoft and Pentagon to hold the contract beyond the initial activities. The military gets better access to the technology and data once the JEDI is implemented.
According to a communication from Amazon Web Services, a cloud division of Amazon, it is common to halt the work when a protest is pending and requires the review of political interference and evaluation errors that have crept into the JEDI contract. The company blamed Donald Trump, the US President, for pressurizing the Pentagon to award the contract to Microsoft. Conflicts of interests and legal complaints have already delayed the procurement process.
No external influence in awarding JEDI contract
Mark Esper, the defense secretary, ruled out any bias in awarding the contract. He said Pentagon followed the fair process in awarding the contract with no external influence.
Patricia E Campbell-Smith, the judge, has set January 22, 2020, as the deadline for the filing injection. She has posted the special trial on February 18, 2020, in the court. The current hearings allow the court to take a decision on February 11, 2020, with regard to halting the work on the JEDI contract. However, the date may be changed because both parties will file an expedited schedule for settling the matter. Microsoft is actively seeking employees, who are security cleared, to stand up for the project. AWS has reserved the right to apply for injection at a later date.
Department of Defense tests JEDI capabilities
Department of Defense is testing the capabilities of JEDI using fourteen pathfinders that include the US Special Operations Command, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, and the US Transportation Command.
Dana Deasy, Chief Information Officer at DOD, said in December 2019 that he will stand up to the JEDI’s unclassified portion by mid-February 2020 and classified portion likely by July 2020. It is unclear how Amazon’s injection affects the timelines of the project.