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Pentagon Weighs End to Cloud Task Amidst Amazon Fight

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Pentagon Weighs End to Cloud Job In The Middle Of Amazon Fight

< img src=" https://images.wsj.net/im-335228/social" class=" ff-og-image-inserted"/ > WASHINGTON– Pentagon authorities are thinking about pulling the plug on the star-crossed JEDI cloud-computing task, which has been bogged down in lawsuits from Amazon.com Inc. and deals with continuing criticism from lawmakers.The Joint Business Defense Infrastructure agreement was awarded to Microsoft Corp. in 2019 over Amazon, which has objected to the award in court since. A federal judge last month refused the Pentagon’s motion to

dismiss much of Amazon’s case. A couple of days later on, Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks stated the department would evaluate the project. “We’re going to have to assess where we are with regard to the ongoing litigation around JEDI and

determine what the very best course forward is for the department,” Ms. Hicks stated at an April 30 security conference arranged by the not-for-profit Aspen Institute. Her remarks followed a Pentagon report to Congress, launched before the most recent court ruling, that said

another Amazon win in court could significantly extract the timeline for the program’s implementation.” The possibility of such a lengthy lawsuits procedure might bring the future of the JEDI Cloud procurement into

question,” the Jan. 28 report said. Ms. Hicks and other Pentagon officials state there is a pushing need to execute a cloud program that serves the majority of its branches and departments. The JEDI agreement, valued at as much as$ 10 billion over ten years, aims to allow the Pentagon to combine its present patchwork of information systems, provide defense workers much better access to real-time details and put the Defense Department on a stronger footing to develop artificial-intelligence capabilities that are seen as essential in the future.< div data-layout=" header" data-layout-mobile= "" class =" media-object type-InsetMediaVideo header scope-web|mobileapps post __ inset

post __ inset– type-InsetMediaVideo post __ inset– header” > < figcaption class=" wsj-article-caption article __ inset __ video __ caption" > Big tech firms are buying information centers as they complete for the$ 214 billion cloud computing market. WSJ discusses what cloud computing is, why huge tech is betting big on future contracts.

Some legislators and government-contracting professionals state JEDI ought to be scuttled due to the fact that its single-vendor, winner-take-all method is unsuitable and outmoded for mammoth enterprises like the Department of Defense.

These individuals say the Pentagon needs to relocate to a progressively popular approach to business cloud-computing that consists of multiple business as individuals. Expanding the work likewise decreases the danger of legal obstacles from left out companies, they state.

Rep. Steve Womack (R., Ark.) contacted the Pentagon recently to begin fresh with a brand-new contract-bidding process that would “enable best-in-class capability by focusing on the continuous competition that a cloud environment can promote.”

Should the Pentagon scuttle JEDI, the government could seek to patch together a new cloud program by broadening a number of existing Defense Department information-technology agreements, stated John Weiler, a longtime JEDI critic who is executive director of the IT Acquisition Advisory Council, a public-private consortium that recommends government and market on tech-procurement best practices.

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media-object type-InsetRichText wrap scope-web post __ inset short article __ inset– type-InsetRichText article __ inset– wrap” readability=” 6″ > SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS Should the Pentagon pull the plug on the JEDI cloud-computing project? Join the conversation below.

Microsoft has actually acknowledged the issues produced by the delays however stated it is ready to continue the job.

” We agree with the U.S. [federal government] that prolonged litigation is hazardous and has delayed getting this technology to our military service members who require it,” the business stated. “We stand prepared to support the Defense Department to provide on JEDI and other mission important DoD jobs.”

Amazon decreased to comment for this short article. The business has actually competed in court that then-President Donald Trump exerted inappropriate pressure on the Pentagon to keep the contract from going to Amazon because it is led by Jeff Bezos.

Mr. Trump has blamed Mr. Bezos for what he viewed as unfavorable coverage of his administration in the Washington Post, which Mr. Bezos purchased in 2013 for $250 million. The Post says its editorial choices are independent.

At the time, the Trump White House referred questions to the Pentagon, which rejected that Mr. Trump or administration officials had any effect on the selection procedure.

Before the latest court fight, Oracle Corp.— among the initial bidders– had taken legal action against to halt the agreement granting process. Its 2019 lawsuit declared that an Amazon worker who worked for the Pentagon in 2016 and 2017 assisted steer the procurement process to favor Amazon, which then hired him back.

A judge subsequently rejected those allegations, allowing the bidding procedure to move forward.

Amazon has actually kept that it got no beneficial treatment from the Pentagon at any point, however the concern resurfaced recently, with Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R., Colo.) sending a letter requesting a Justice Department investigation into alleged conflicts by that worker and others.

Last month, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) composed a letter to Pentagon authorities raising issues about the firm’s oversight of the task and seeking more information about alleged disputes of interest and possible improprieties, which some critics and rival companies say might have skewed the initial procurement steps in Amazon’s favor.

Several of the concerns raised in both letters had been examined previously. A federal judge in 2019 concluded that the previous Amazon staff member “did not taint” the program.

A Pentagon inspector general report in 2015 figured out that the Pentagon consultant didn’t breach any ethical commitments or give preferential treatment to Amazon.

Steven Schooner, a George Washington University law teacher who focuses on federal government contracting, stated early questions about the Pentagon’s underlying procurement technique for JEDI have grown with time.

” And all of that is prior to this case turned into one of the most jaw-dropping, head-scratching collections of disputes of interest imaginable,” he said.

Write to John D. McKinnon at [email protected]!.?.! Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company,

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