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Pentagon auditor reviews cloud contract

SFGate Tuesday, 13 August 2019 ()
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s independent auditor is conducting a broad review of the handling of a cloud computing project potentially worth $10 billion, officials said Tuesday.

The probe includes an investigation of potential misconduct by current or former Defense Department officials involved in the project, which is part of a broader Pentagon digital modernization effort, the Office of the Inspector General said in a written statement.

“Our review is ongoing, and our team is making substantial progress,” it said. “We recognize the importance and time-sensitive nature of the issues, and we intend to complete our review as expeditiously as possible.”

The probe began June 11, weeks before President Trump said his administration would take what he called “a very long look” at the program after he received “tremendous complaints” about it.

“I have had very few things where there’s been such complaining,” Trump said July 18.

Amazon Web Services, a division of Amazon, and Microsoft are finalists for the contract. The Pentagon is in the final stages of determining the winner of the initial $1 million Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract, which could be worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years if all options are exercised.

Trump is a critic of Amazon, the e-commerce giant owned by Jeff Bezos. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, and Trump has criticized the paper’s coverage of his administration.

The Pentagon inspector general’s office said that a team of auditors, investigators and lawyers has been reviewing the JEDI cloud program in response to issues raised by the Pentagon and members of Congress.

The complaints include assertions that the Pentagon unreasonably restricted competition for the contract and that there...
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