UPDATE: An AWS spokesperson responds to the IG's decision —-
This report doesn't tell us much. It says nothing about the merits of the award, which we know are highly questionable based on the Judge's recent statements and the government's request to go back and take corrective action. And, it's clear that this report couldn't assess political interference because several DoD witnesses were instructed by the White House not to answer the IG's questions about communications between the White House and DoD officials. The White House's refusal to cooperate with the IG's investigation is yet another blatant attempt to avoid a meaningful and transparent review of the JEDI contract award.
ORIGINAL POST FOLLOWS:
An inquiry by the inspector general for the United States Department of Defense found did not find evidence that impeached president Donald Trump swayed the decision to award the $10 Billion 'JEDI' defense contract to Microsoft, rather than Amazon or other competitors. Defense Inspector general added "we believe" evidence showed "DoD personnel who evaluated contract proposals and awarded Microsoft the JEDI Cloud" were not pressured regarding their decision" by any DoD leaders more senior" who "may have communicated with the White House."
The White House refused to turn over communications to the Pentagon inspector general that would show whether it influenced the decision not to award Amazon a $10B defense contract https://t.co/GZD8o4qZ1r
— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) April 15, 2020
Known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, the cloud computing contract is intended to give the military better access to data and technology from remote locations.
"We could not definitively determine the full extent or nature of interactions that administration officials had, or may have had, with senior DoD officials regarding the JEDI Cloud procurement because of the assertion of a 'presidential communications privilege,'" the report said, referring to the Department of Defense by its acronym.
Amazon, originally considered to be the favorite to win the award, has blamed President Donald Trump for bias against the company and for improperly pressuring the Pentagon.
The report leaves open the question of whether Trump improperly influenced one of the most closely watched procurement contracts given its size and the high-profile nature of the bidders.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Defense Department said the report "should finally close the door on the media and corporate-driven attacks on the career procurement officials" involved with JEDI.
There's more reporting at Bloomberg News today, but the page may be paywalled for you.
Previously on Boing Boing:
Related observations from reporters and others on Twitter, below.
DoD accidently shared Microsoft's confidential information with AWS team https://t.co/fZqoTbINHh
— pradeepviswav (@pradeepviswav) April 15, 2020
Significant "yes, but.." in this report from the DoD's inspector general: It found no apparent interference from the White House in the JEDI contract award process, however, the OIG said DoD instructed key officials not to answer questions about communications w/ the White House. https://t.co/tNWOHkIbsC
— Annie Palmer (@annierpalmer) April 15, 2020