Pentagon investigating $10B ‘war cloud’ contract

The Pentagon’s internal watchdog on Tuesday said that it is investigating potential ethics concerns around the $10 billion “war cloud” contract at the center of an ongoing tug-of-war among lawmakers and the White House.

The Pentagon inspector general said it is reviewing aspects of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program, including allegations of possible misconduct in the contract awarding process.

It was previously known that the Pentagon inspector general’s office was reviewing ethical concerns around JEDI, but the inspector general’s statement on Tuesday provides details on an official probe.

“We are reviewing the DoD’s [Department of Defense’s] handing of the JEDI cloud acquisition, including the development of requirements and the request for proposal process,” spokeswoman Dwrena Allen said in a statement.

She added that “a multidisciplinary team” is investigating concerns around JEDI “referred to us by Members of Congress and through the DoD Hotline. 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.”

What’s at stake: The JEDI contract, which is set to be awarded to either Amazon or Microsoft, would allow one company to develop cloud-computing infrastructure for the Pentagon. The contract could last for up to 10 years, though it begins at only two, and is valued at up to $10 billion.

The watchdog review of JEDI is happening alongside an internal review ordered earlier this month by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Esper ordered the review after President Trump said he would ask his administration to investigate whether the JEDI contract is biased towards Amazon.