Could not determine any influence in JEDI contract award, Pentagon report

The Pentagon could not establish facts about any influence of White House in awarding a $10 billion contract to Microsoft Corp by giving it preference over Amazon when several officials referred their conversation as confidential “presidential communications”, as said the agency’s inspector general on Wednesday

The government of the United States is intending procuring a cloud computing infrastructure system known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI to provide the military with better access to technology and data from remote locations.

The Pentagon is not able to ultimately determine the complete level or kind of conversations actually occurred or may have occurred between administration and Department of Defense officials about the JEDI Cloud procurement because of the declaration of a “presidential communications privilege” by some officials, the report said.

Amazon was considered to be the favorite in getting the contract award, but after award of the same to Microsoft, it hold President Donald Trump responsible of being unfair towards the company and blamed him of being improperly influential on the Pentagon in that award.

Do Trump improperly used his influence in award of the a contract, which was kept a close an eye on by the stakeholders due to involvement of high-profile nature and size of the bidding companies, is a question that is still unanswered after the Pentagon’s report.

The report should eventually be closing the door to attacks driven by media and corporate segments on the professional procurement officials in award of JEDI contract, said the Defense Department.

Neither the White House nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comments on Wednesday announcement.

Evident from the report that Amazon’s bid price was too high and it was looking for a repeat process to get a chance to bid again, as said Microsoft, in its statement on Wednesday.

The Pentagon made its decision in a free and fair way without any external influence, said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, rejecting any biasing in award of the contract.