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Pentagon Vows Swift Review of Its ‘War Cloud’ Contract as Amazon, Microsoft Prepare for Battle

Earlier, Microsoft and Amazon were picked as finalists among several major tech companies bidding to provide the US military with cloud computing and artificial intelligence on the battlefield, as part of the Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure plan, known as JEDI.

The Pentagon’s inspector general is to carry out a comprehensive review of the DoD’s lucrative cloud-computing project related to its Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure plan (JEDI), known as the “Pentagon war cloud”, according to US Department of Defence (DoD) spokeswoman Dwrena Allen. 

“We are reviewing the DoD’s handling of the JEDI cloud acquisition, including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process,” Allen said on Tuesday.

She singled out a “multidisciplinary team” of auditors, investigators and attorneys who are investigating JEDI-related issues which Allen said were “referred to us by members of Congress and through the DoD Hotline."  

“In addition, we are investigating whether current or former DoD officials committed misconduct relating to the JEDI acquisition, such as whether any had any conflicts of interest related to their involvement in the acquisition process,” she added.

Allen touted “substantial progress” in the team’s review of the JEDI project, stressing that the team recognises “the importance and time sensitive nature of the issues.” She added that the team intends “to complete our review as expeditiously as possible”.

Amazon, Microsoft Picked as JEDI Bid Finalists

The review comes after Amazon and Microsoft were chosen as finalists among several major companies, including Oracle and IBM, which are bidding to provide the US military with cloud computing and artificial intelligence on the battlefield, in sync with the JEDI.

Last month, Oracle filed a lawsuit, complaining that Amazon had given lucrative jobs to two Defence Department employees working on the JEDI project, allegedly boosting the company’s chances of winning the contract.

But a federal judge in Washington DC dismissed Oracle’s claim, paving the way for the DoD to choose between Amazon and Microsoft. The Pentagon is expected to choose the winner later this month.

$10 billion JEDI Project to Reportedly Help Integrate Data Sets

The Department of Defence announced the JEDI project to place Pentagon technology systems into the cloud in early 2018.

This prompted a race among companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Dell, and others for the contract that the Pentagon said was worth a guaranteed minimum of $1 million with a ceiling of $10 billion.

Media reports said that the JEDI project’s goal is to make it easier for the US military information infrastructure to transfer and integrate data sets, as well as make global security upgrades to software across platforms.

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