DOD plans new JEDI amendment

The Pentagon says it expect to be able to finish its revisions and make a new award decision by Aug. 17.

The Defense Department says it will need until Aug. 17 to decide on a new award in its controversial $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud procurement.

Amazon Web Services is suing DOD over its award of the JEDI contract to Microsoft last October, citing technical problems with the evaluation and political interference from the White House.

The case is on remand for 120 days while DOD considers revised proposals. In a June 16 court filing, lawyers representing the DOD side said "another solicitation amendment will be necessary" and that DOD would review "additional limited proposal revisions."

It's not stated in the filing what technical areas will be covered by the new amendment.

The previous revisions are centered around storage requirements in an area of the JEDI solicitation called " price scenario 6" – a cloud storage component that, according to the judge's read on the bids, was out of compliance with JEDI requirements. That aspect of the dispute erupted into public view in May as AWS filed a protest with the DOD to obtain more information on the requirements and Microsoft responded with a blog post slamming its rival.

The political aspects of the case – allegations that the contract award was steered to Microsoft to accommodate President Donald Trump's personal animus to AWS founder Jeff Bezos – are not part of the remand.

Microsoft was also recently caught up in a political firestorm that took aim at its status as a government contractor. Former acting intelligence chief and U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell tweeted June 12 that Microsoft "should be barred from government contracts" for its decision to stop selling facial recognition technology to police departments. Trump shared Grenell's tweet with his 82 million followers.

AWS announced a similar decision with regard to its Rekognition facial recognition software – a self-imposed one-year moratorium on law enforcement sales, designed to give Congress time to craft regulations for the use of such systems.

In the court filing DOD indicated that it might need more time to review revised proposals and may seek an extension of the remand.

This article first appeared on FCW, a Defense Systems partner site.