No new work under JEDI during protest, court rules

The Air Force Memorial and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. (REUTERS / Joshua Roberts)

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The U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled Thursday to temporarily prevent any new work under the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract until it decides on Amazon Web Services’ protest of the acquisition.

Judge Patricia E. Campbell Smith issued a preliminary injunction barring the Department of Defense and JEDI awardee Microsoft from any new contracting activity until further notice.

Amazon is protesting the Pentagon’s award of the contract to Microsoft, claiming that overt political pressure from the top of the Trump administration led to “egregious errors” in the Pentagon’s evaluation of bids for JEDI and cost the company the award.

Last month, AWS filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and injunction to halt work under the contract, saying that “continued performance of the JEDI Contract could jeopardize the relief available to AWS if it prevails in the protest” and cause “irreparable harm.”

The DOD and Microsoft had agreed to hold off on awarding any task orders under JEDI until Feb. 14. Earlier this week, a Pentagon spokesperson told FedScoop the department was awaiting a decision from the court on Amazon’s motion for an injunction but said it was “prepared to begin providing early adopters with urgently-needed unclassified JEDI services starting on Feb. 14.”

“We are disappointed in today’s ruling and believe the actions taken in this litigation have unnecessarily delayed implementing DoD’s modernization strategy and deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need,” a DOD spokesperson said Thursday. “However, we are confident in our award of the JEDI Cloud contract to Microsoft and remain focused on getting this critical capability into the hands of our warfighters as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

A Microsoft representative said the company is also “disappointed” with the ruling. However, “we believe that we will ultimately be able to move forward with the work to make sure those who serve our country can access the new technology they urgently require,” Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of Microsoft Communications, said in a statement. “We have confidence in the Department of Defense, and we believe the facts will show they ran a detailed, thorough and fair process in determining the needs of the warfighter were best met by Microsoft.”

Amazon could not be reached for comment.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS), Department of Defense (DOD), Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), Microsoft
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