On Tuesday, the Pentagon Inspector General (IG) started an official investigation into the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, including allegations of misconduct in how the contract would be awarded.
A spokeswoman for the Pentagon IG, Dwrena Allen, said in a statement:
“We are reviewing the DoD’s handing of the JEDI cloud acquisition, including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process.”
She added that her team is investigating multiple accusations, including those received from some members of Congress and through the Department of Defense’ hotline. Some of those allegations are against former or current Pentagon members that may have had conflicts of interest related to their involvement in the JEDI contractor selection process.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon announced that the two finalists would be Amazon and Microsoft, with many believing that Amazon is the most likely candidate to win the contract. However, since then, criticism against the whole awarding process from earlier candidates such as Oracle and IBM, as well as President Trump, has only intensified.
The contract was supposed to be awarded this month, but it looks like now that an official investigation into the contractor selection process has started, the awarding will likely be delayed at least several months.
Allen noted that her team recognizes that it’s important to complete the investigation as soon as possible:
"Our review is ongoing, and our team is making substantial progress. We recognize the importance and time-sensitive nature of the issues, and we intend to complete our review as expeditiously as possible."
The review done by the IG is happening in parallel with the Pentagon’s own internal investigation of the JEDI awarding process, started by the new Defense Secretary, Mark Esper. Esper ordered the Pentagon’s internal review after President Trump said he would ask his administration to look into whether or not Pentagon officials showed bias towards Amazon in the JEDI awarding process.
The Pentagon’s IG office said that it would report the investigation’s findings to both Esper and Congress and that they will also consider making the results public.