In July 2019, Trump threatened to intervene in the JEDI contract procurement © AFP/Getty Images
In July 2019, Trump threatened to intervene in the JEDI contract procurement © AFP/Getty Images

Amazon to appeal JEDI contract award

15 November 2019

Amazon has reportedly filed an intention to appeal against the US Department of Defence’s (DoD) decision to award a major contract to Microsoft over concerns about political interference. 

Last month the controversial Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, believed to be worth $10bn, was awarded to Microsoft.

The contract will see the tech firm collect and store sensitive military data and supply the US military with state-of-the-art technology such as artificial intelligence. 

At the time, the DoD stated all bidders had been “treated fairly and evaluated consistently” against evaluation criteria. 

According to the BBC, Amazon filed an intent to appeal the decision last week, and a formal appeal will be filed at a later stage. 

An Amazon spokesperson told SM: “We believe it is critical for our country that the government and its elected leaders administer procurements objectively and in a manner that is free from political influence”.

Earlier this year, president Donald Trump threatened to intervene in the procurement process, following “tremendous complaints” made by Amazon’s rivals over its close ties to the US government. 

Trump has frequently criticised Amazon and its boss, Jeff Bezos. In 2017, he tweeted that deals with Amazon had left the US Postal Service “dumber and poorer”. 

An Amazon spokesperson said: “Amazon Web Services is uniquely experienced and qualified to provide the critical technology the US military needs, and remains committed to supporting the DoD's modernisation efforts.

“Numerous aspects of the JEDI evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors and unmistakable bias – and it's important that these matters be examined and rectified.”

The DoD announced its intentions to award the contract to a single supplier in July 2018, despite concerns from tech experts that the method could be flawed.

In April 2019, two competitors Oracle and IBM were excluded from the competition for failing to meet the contract’s criteria.

Oracle unsuccessfully challenged the contract in court, alleging the decision to pick just one winner violated federal procurement laws designed to ensure competition.

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