Already two years behind schedule, JEDI fight to continue into 2021

A new timeline has been agreed upon by Amazon Web Services and the Defense Department on the court case surrounding the JEDI cloud infrastructure contract that will delay its fielding even more.

To no one’s surprise, Amazon Web Services is continuing its protest against the Defense Department’s second attempt at an award of the JEDI cloud infrastructure contract to Microsoft earlier this month.

Amazon Web Services said it would do so within hours of DOD’s announcement. That was also made formal by the government in a status update filed Tuesday to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, where AWS took its protest late last year.

Work on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract will remain on pause until February 2021 under a current injunction that was imposed earlier this year.

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 awarded the contract in source selection attempt number one.

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 none other than President Donald Trump.

Within hours of DOD’s announcement of the re-award, AWS reiterated in an unsigned blog post that it will continue pursuing its claims that political interference from Trump and White House officials swung the JEDI award to Microsoft.

Campbell-Smith has not evaluated that aspect of AWS’ complaint, but 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.

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