Pentagon IG Strikes Blow To Amazon, Rules $10B Award To Microsoft Was Proper

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 15, 2020 - 10:42 AM

The Defense Department's Inspector General dealt a blow to Amazon Wednesday, after finding that the Pentagon's decision to award a $10 billion cloud-computing contract to Microsoft was proper, and "consistent with applicable acquisition standards."

What's more, the IG found no evidence that the Trump administration affected the decision over the contract, known as JEDI.

"We believe the evidence we received showed that the DoD personnel who evaluated the contract proposals and awarded Microsoft the JEDI Cloud contract were not pressured regarding their decision on the award of the contract by any DoD leaders more senior to them, who may have communicated with the White House," reads the IG report.

That said, Bloomberg notes that report cites instances where the White House provided limited cooperation in the inquiry - asserting "presidential communications privilege" which caused the DoD general counsel to instruct some officials "not to answer our questions about potential communications between White House and DoD officials about JEDI."

Amazon, which filed a November lawsuit against the government over the decision, made several incendiary claims in a Tuesday court filing.

It alleges that President Trump's animus for Amazon and owner Jeff Bezos caused Pentagon officials "consciously or subconsciously" to award the contract to Microsoft.

The DoD requested that the suit be frozen for four months in order to correct an apparent error found by the judge in the government's rationale for selecting Microsoft in an upset decision last October.

Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit had long been considered the front-runner in the contest, because it pioneered the commercial cloud industry; still commands more than twice the market share of its nearest competitor, Microsoft Azure; and is the only vendor already authorized to operate at a “secret” or “top secret” level, having provided cloud services for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) since 2013. -Yahoo

Amazon's lawsuit seeks to determine whether career government employees reasonably evaluated the competing offerings via eight "factors" and 55 "sub-factors" laid out in the contract's solicitation request. 

See the IG report below: