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Home / US / Defense Secretary Mark Esper moves away from Pentagon's JEDI cloud computing contract decisions

Defense Secretary Mark Esper moves away from Pentagon's JEDI cloud computing contract decisions



"Although this is not required by law, [Esper] he has distanced himself from participating in decisions following the briefings because of his adult son's employment with one of the original contract applicants," Hoffman wrote.

Amazon and Microsoft is the only company that can win the massive award after Oracle and IBM have dropped out of the competition. Amazon is considered the leader due to his experience in handling classified information for the CIA. (Jeff Bezos, chief executive of Amazon, owns the Washington Post.)

The DOD statement did not specify which company Esper's son worked for, how that information about the secretary's contract became known, or why he did not self-reused.

] An IBM spokeswoman told the post office that Esper's son, Luke, has been "a consultant on digital strategy at IBM Services since February, and his role is independent of IBM's tracking of JEDI."

According to a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Luke Esper, who mentions him as a consultant for digital strategy at IBM, his work began in February at Esper, which was confirmed months later, in July.

"This is likely to fall on deaf ears, but do not try asking for comments, etc., etc. on anything that has anything to do with my father," it says in a post on the profile at the end of Tuesday. " He has and will always have my full support in everything he does, that's it. "

It is the latest issue related to conflicts of interest, problems for the Joint Defense Infrastructure Contract for Enterprise (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, JEDI), which seeks to centralize the military's computer infrastructure in the hands of a technology company, allowing the US military agencies to leverage the most advanced innovations Silicon Valley has to offer.

Defense officials had expected To determine a winner for the coveted contract, however, the procurement interrupted to potential conflict of interest e related to Deap Ubhi, a former defense lawyer, investigate official who came to Amazon shortly after his contribution to the procurement as a Defense Department employee. The Pentagon's investigation revealed that Ubhi had misled the Pentagon and Amazon on the terms of his departure, but noted that his role did not trigger an organizational conflict of interest in favor of Amazon.

Ubhi was one of four individuals involved A long-running lawsuit by Oracle that attempted to decipher JEDI procurement.

In late September, the White House called on Esper to review the treaty after President Trump expressed concern that the award would go to Amazon. The contact was maintained while Esper checked the approach.

Trump's intervention was the subject of an investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of Defense after members of the Congress expressed concern.

Dana Deasy, who oversees procurement as a Department of Defense The Chief Information Officer has emphasized that Esper's review of the JEDI strategy is not related to the selection process for sources that rate offers from Amazon and Microsoft. He also said that the award would be awaited until after the Esper review and the Inspector General's investigation.

Hoffman said on Tuesday that "procurement will continue to be selected as part of the normal acquisition process conducted by professional acquisition professionals.

Esper, a former army officer who became a Raytheon lobbyist and later an army secretary, faced tough questions about his own business interests during his confirmation hearing when Sen. Elizabeth Warren described his relationship with Raytheon as "slightly corrupt." [1

9659002] In his reply, Esper reverted to the idea that those hired by revolving door arrangements are necessarily corrupt.

"I went to war for this country. I served abroad for this country I've stepped down from my jobs that paid me more than I've worked anywhere else, "he said," and every time was to serve the common good and the young men and women of our armed forces o. I think for some reason suspects that anyone who comes from the business or corporate world is corrupt. "

Shortly after the project was over A group of companies, including Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, launched a very public lobbying campaign aimed at getting the Pentagon to split JEDI into more than one contract.

They argued that the Department of Defense pursued an approach that did not match the approach of the most advanced cloud computing companies, saying that such a strategy would jeopardize the cybersecurity of classified information by putting too much data into the hands of a company companies would be given.

"Given what DOD is trying to do with this cloud – a single award and a 10-year blocking period – [picking just one provider] completely contradicts its goals," said Sam Gordy, head of IBM's federal business, in an interview last year , "This DOD Cloud award is completely contrary to what Cloud Power's [Trump] management said."

IBM filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office to block the award. It was later dismissed when Oracle complained to the US Federal Court.

Amazon was among the bidders who supported the one-off strategy, arguing that such an approach would allow the Ministry of Defense to move faster with its limited technological workforce.

Alice Crites and Jay Greene contributed to this report.


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