DoD watchdog affirms JEDI award to Microsoft above Amazon, calls bias statements unfounded – GeekWire-TechWeu

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Monica Nickelsburg

The Pentagon. (Flickr Image / David B. Gleason cc2.)

A new report by the Protection Department’s inspector general found no evidence that President Donald Trump improperly influenced the award of a coveted military cloud deal to Microsoft about rival Amazon.

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Even so, the inspector general’s workplace reported it could not absolutely evaluate the issue since the White Property exercised presidential privilege and instructed many Protection Division witnesses not to response queries from investigators.

Irrespective of that hurdle, the report states DoD officials dependable for awarding the agreement to Microsoft, “were not pressured pertaining to their selection on the award of the deal by any DoD leaders extra senior to them, who may well have communicated with the White Dwelling.”

The findings depict a victory for the Defense Section and Microsoft. The two are eager to begin operate on the Joint Business Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project pending the result of a legal obstacle. It’s a blow to Amazon, which promises that Trump’s individual animus toward the business and its founder, Jeff Bezos, improperly motivated the procurement method.

That’s the linchpin of a lawsuit Amazon submitted final 12 months just after the Pentagon shocked lots of by choosing Microsoft for JEDI. Amazon was extensive found as the frontrunner for the $10 billion, 10-yr cloud contract in advance of Trump expressed problem about the fairness of the bidding course of action previous summer time.

“Reports of President Trump’s statements about Amazon, ongoing bid protests and ‘lobbying’ by JEDI Cloud competitors, as nicely as inaccurate media reviews about the JEDI Cloud procurement method, may possibly have designed the appearance or perception that the deal award course of action was not truthful or unbiased,” the Inspector Normal report states.

The report also found that the final decision to award the venture to a one vendor — a important criticism from Oracle and other know-how businesses vying for the prize in the early times — “was steady with applicable legislation and acquisition benchmarks.”

The report did get difficulty with the behavior of two previous Protection Section staff who had been associated in JEDI through the early levels and then went on to take careers with Amazon. In just one circumstance, the inspector basic uncovered an ethics violation. In the other, the report says the worker could have employed better judgment.

A 3rd Defense Section personnel must not have participated in JEDI conferences since she owned Microsoft stock, according to the report. But none of the wrongdoings highlighted improperly motivated the end result of the JEDI award, the inspector normal observed.

In February, a federal judge issued a short-term injunction barring the Office of Protection and Microsoft from functioning on JEDI. The injunction was centered on the premise that DoD may possibly have built an error in its evaluation of Microsoft’s bid. DoD stated that it desired to reconsider components of its award decision to Microsoft and asked for 120 days to take a look at 1 concern related to “online marketplace choices.”

Amazon would like the courtroom to get the Protection Department to conduct a extra sweeping re-evaluation of the proposals based on all of the issues that the corporation has raised.

“The Inspector General’s report would make very clear the DoD recognized a appropriate procurement procedure,” Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw reported in a statement. “It’s now evident that Amazon bid far too significant a price tag and is in search of a do-in excess of so it can bid yet again. As the IG’s report signifies, Amazon has proprietary facts about Microsoft’s bid that it must by no means have experienced. At this phase, Amazon is each delaying critical get the job done for the nation’s military and making an attempt to undo the miscalculation it produced when it bid too substantial a price.”

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