The Pentagon has briefly ended its $10 billion cloud computing competition after President Trump recommended that the offer may be fixed for Amazon. The procedure will currently be audited by new Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and a representative said that “no decision will be made on the program until he has completed his examination.”
The Pentagon needs a solitary provider for its JEDI cloud computing system that will house critical personnel and intelligence information while enabling it to all the more likely contend with China in the field of AI. Four groups were chosen in the competition, including IBM and Oracle, however, the Pentagon has trimmed it down to only two providers: Microsoft and Amazon.
Oracle attempted to remain in the game by contending to Congress that the bidding procedure was uncalled for. The organization’s arguments advanced toward a group of delegates, who requested that Trump hold any contract grants until the Pentagon had analyzed anomalies or irreconcilable circumstances.
We believe that it is essential for our national security to move forward as quickly as possible with the award and implementation of this contract.
In response, Trump asked Pentagon officials to review the process. “They are saying it wasn’t competitively bid,” he said on July 18th. “Some of the greatest companies in the world are complaining about it… I will be asking them to look at it very closely to see what’s going on because I have had very few things where there has been such complaining.”
Trump has condemned Amazon and Bezos (the owner of the Washington Post) before, yet issues with the JEDI contract originate before the President. Specifically, competitors have been worried about groups led by previous Defense Secretary Jim Mattis between AWS VP Teresa Carlson and Jeff Bezos himself in 2017. The Guardian additionally found that an Amazon VP had contact with US government procurement services about the creation of a purchasing portal.
In July, however, a court decided that Oracle’s offered didn’t meet government prerequisites, and the Government Accountability Office found that the offer was reasonable. The Pentagon, then, called Oracle’s allegations “the subject of poorly-informed and often manipulative speculation.”
And while some US representatives want to put the brakes on the bid, others want it to continue. “We believe that it is essential for our national security to move forward as quickly as possible with the award and implementation of this contract,” said Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), on behalf of the House Armed Services Committee.