AWS-Microsoft JEDI fight will stretch into 2021
- By Ross Wilkers
- Sep 17, 2020
Within hours of the Defense Department’s Sept. 4 announcement that it would again award the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract to Microsoft, Amazon Web Services announced it would continue to protest the procurement. A Sept. 15 government filing with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims now confirms AWS’ plan.
JEDI is two years behind schedule and has yet to be implemented -- three years after DOD first unveiled the project and almost a full year after Microsoft was first awarded the contract. Work on the contract has been paused until February 2021 under a current injunction that was imposed earlier this year.
Next in the overall JEDI saga comes DOD’s post-award debriefings to explain to both companies why the ultimate outcome remains the same. After that: a series of more filings by AWS and the government under a schedule outlined in the status update they all agreed upon.
AWS must file an amended complaint by Oct. 9 and a renewed motion for further discovery by Oct. 23. The government must also submit a renewed motion of its own by Oct. 23, and the judge overseeing the case us due to resolve all of those motions and others from both parties by Dec. 4.
Judge Patricia E. Campbell-Smith’s ruling on the discovery motion will likely in part determine if AWS can seek depositions from current and former DOD officials, plus President Donald Trump, who AWS claims improperly swung the JEDI award to Microsoft.
Campbell-Smith has not evaluated that aspect of AWS’ complaint, but she did previously give the company one favorable ruling over evaluation errors by DOD during its initial source selection last year. The judge granted the current injunction to pause work on the current contract.
If she rules that AWS can get at least some the depositions it wants, then the timeline as described earlier gets shaken up and becomes very much TBD. That would add many more months to the case beyond February 2021.
A ruling against all of AWS’ discovery requests means the company has to file its motion for judgment on the administrative record by Dec. 23.
Lawyers representing the government then have to file their own motion against AWS by Jan. 5, and all responses are anticipated to last until at least Feb. 5.
This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to GCN.