Despite Amazon Web Services losing out in the bid for the Pentagon’s potential $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract, a pair of Republican lawmakers continue to press the Department of Defense for more information on an investigation into allegations of impropriety between department officials and the cloud computing company.
Republican Reps. Steve Womack of Arkansas and Chris Stewart of Utah sent a letter Thursday to DOD Secretary Lloyd Austin and acting department Inspector General Sean O’Donnell asking for “immediate access” to all records associated with the DOD IG’s investigation of the JEDI procurement.
“Since JEDI’s inception, multiple Members of Congress, including one of the undersigned, have repeatedly raised concerns to DOD regarding allegations of impropriety that now-former DOD officials engaged in unethical misconduct related to JEDI, in our opinion, these allegations remain unresolved,” says the letter. The lawmakers point specifically to allegations of conflicts of interest with former DOD officials who also had previous ties to Amazon.
The Pentagon issued a 300-page report on its investigation last spring in which it declared there were violations of ethics agreements, but that they weren’t substantial enough to affect the massive procurement.
The lawmakers want complete access to the investigation file, “including all collected e-mails, interview notes, and any interim investigative memorandum.”
Meanwhile, Amazon continues to wage its own battle to overturn the JEDI contract’s award to Microsoft roughly 18 months ago. Amazon has two main claims in its larger JEDI bid protest: That “DOD consistently and repeatedly made prejudicial errors, at every step along the way, that systematically favored Microsoft,” and that this happened because of overt influence from President Trump and other high-level government officials, who wanted to do harm to Amazon.
Since Amazon’s filing of the protest in December 2019, the $10 billion cloud acquisition has sat stalled, awaiting the court’s approval to start work.
Most recently, the Court of Federal Claims issued a sealed decision denying a motion by the Department of Justice and Microsoft to dismiss part of Amazon’s protest. Not only does that motion, issued in April, mean that the lawsuit will continue on even longer, but the DOD said before the decision that if things were to continue on much longer, it might consider alternatives to JEDI.