In a sharp blow to Amazon, the U.S. Department of Defense found that Microsoft’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract award was correct after an extensive review.
“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,” the inspector general’s office said.
Microsoft won the lucrative contract in October but it was immediately contested by Amazon, which was widely expected to win the contract and claimed that the White House meddled to ensure it lost because of political reasons.
This week’s decision, issued as a 317-page report by the inspector general, means that the DOD found no such meddling. Furthermore, it also found that awarding the contract to a single company was “consistent with applicable acquisition standards.”
That said, the report also noted that the White House didn’t cooperate fully with its inquiry by issuing a “presidential communications privilege” in which the general counsel was not allowed to ask White House staff “questions about potential communications between White House and DoD officials about JEDI.” So it’s unclear how it arrived at this decision.
Finally, a Microsoft statement, provided to be this afternoon, provides additional information.
“The Inspector General’s report makes clear the DOD established a proper procurement process,” Microsoft’s Frank Shaw said. “It’s now apparent that Amazon bid too high a price and is seeking a do-over so it can bid again. As the IG’s report indicates, Amazon has proprietary information about Microsoft’s bid that it should never have had. At this stage, Amazon is both delaying critical work for the nation’s military and trying to undo the mistake it made when it bid too high a price.”