In a few weeks, the Pentagon is predicted to announce the winner of its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract. However, despite entering the final straight, officials in the U.S. government are going to put the project before an internal watchdog.
According to the Pentagon Inspector General, a review is underway to address concerned raised over the ethics of the JEDI program. The race for the $10 billion cloud contract is between Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, but there have been increasing concerns about the project in recent months.
“We are reviewing the DoD's handing of the JEDI cloud acquisition,” the Inspector General says. “Including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process.
A multidisciplinary team is investigating concerns around JEDI 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.”
Oracle is taking legal action over the project. The argues Amazon has a former Defense Department official working for it, which is a potential conflict of interest. Amazon has played down the significance, saying Oracle has “exaggerated that employee's role in the procurement”.
Numerous cloud companies, Oracle among them, have argued JEDI should be a multi-vendor project. Instead, the Department of Defense (DoD) is seeking one cloud provider. It seems only Amazon Web Services and Azure are big enough to handle the contract as a single entity.
As we reported last month, President Donald Trump has become involved in the JEDI contract. Trump is reportedly angered by this development and has ordered the Pentagon to provide him with more information regarding JEDI.
It is worth noting, Trump has not said if he will intervene in the bidding process of not. If he does, it could be bad news for Amazon. Trump famously hates Amazon and its founder Jeff Bezos.