Acquisition

DOD watchdog announces JEDI review

DOD cloud 

The Pentagon's internal watchdog announced it was reviewing the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program -- a massive, single-award cloud computing buy with a ceiling value of $10 billion that is set to be awarded in the coming weeks.

In an Aug. 13 email to reporters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General said in its first public statement on the matter that "a multidisciplinary team of auditors, investigators and attorneys" has been assembled to review the program.

"We are reviewing the DOD's handing of the JEDI cloud acquisition, including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process," spokesperson Dwrena K. Allen wrote. "In addition, we are investigating whether current or former DOD officials committed misconduct relating to the JEDI acquisition, such as whether any had any conflicts of interest related to their involvement in the acquisition process."

Allen described the review as "ongoing" and said that the team was "making substantial progress." The results of the review will be shared with Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Congress, and a publicly released report is under consideration.

The review launched June 11, FCW learned. It came in response to a referral from a DOD contracting officer charged with reviewing organizational conflicts of interest in the JEDI program. The Oracle lawsuit was briefly stayed while this internal review took place.

Included in Judge Eric Bruggink's decision in the Oracle case was the news that the contracting officer had referred the matter of former DOD employee Deap Ubhi to DOD OIG. The contracting officer found that Ubhi, a former Amazon Web Services employee who also sold a startup company to his old employer, violated a Federal Acquisition Regulation provision to "avoid strictly any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest in government-contractor relationships."

AWS and Microsoft are the finalists for the JEDI contract.

"We recognize the importance and time sensitive nature of the issues, and we intend to complete our review as expeditiously as possible," Allen stated.

Esper is conducting his own review of the program. No award announcement is expected until that review is complete.

Some in Congress began urging an IG probe into JEDI as far back as last October. Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Steve Womack (R-Ark.), both on the Appropriations Committee, wrote to acting DOD IG Glenn Fine requesting an investigation into the development of requirements for the JEDI program -- specifically with regard to authorization to host classified material and press reports about potential organizational conflicts of interest among individuals working on the procurement.

Legislative letters and hotline complaints received prior to the June 11 launch of the review are being evaluated.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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