The Pentagon’s inspector general Wednesday stated it couldn’t determine whether or not the White House influenced the award of a $10 billion contract to Microsoft over Amazon after several officers stated their conversations had been privileged “presidential communications.”
Known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI, the cloud computing contract is intended to provide the military with better access to data and know-how from remote places.
Amazon originally thought of to be the favorite to win the award, has blamed President Donald Trump for bias against the company and for improperly pressuring the Pentagon.
The report stated, “we couldn’t be certain whether there have been any White House ties with some DoD officers which may have affected the JEDI procurement,” adding investigators didn’t find any proof of a DoD official acting for the White House to affect the process.
The report leaves open the question of whether or not Trump improperly influenced one of the most carefully watched procurement deals given its size and the high-profile nature of the bidders.
A spokesperson for Amazon Web Services said the White House’s refusal to cooperate with the IG’s investigation is yet one more blatant attempt to keep away from a significant and transparent review of the JEDI contract award.
In a blog post on Wednesday, a Microsoft delegate stated Amazon’s pricing was crucial to its defeat, in contrast to the government bias Amazon is claiming.