Amazon probed for potential conflict over $10B Pentagon con…
As companies vie for a lucrative multibillion-dollar defense contact from the Pentagon, the Defense Department has begun to investigate whether one contender – Amazon – has a conflict of interest in the process.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) re-hired a former employee who left the company briefly to work at the Department of Defense, where he reportedly worked for the military’s cloud division and on the contract in question, as first reported by The Washington Post.
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A potential competitor for the bid, Oracle, has filed a lawsuit claiming the Pentagon needs to look into the role of the employee and whether the process is unfairly biased toward Amazon.
While an official for the department previously said the employee’s work on the project did not impact the integrity of the procurement, the filing also noted that the agency is considering whether there is a conflict of interest now that AWS has submitted a bid for the contract.
A spokesperson for the Pentagon said that the employee in question recused himself from work related to the JEDI contract during his time there and complied with all necessary laws and regulations.
Amazon did not return FOX Business’ requests for comment.
Multiple companies have spoken out against the government’s decision to award the lucrative deal to a single company.
The Defense Department’s pending cloud storage contract, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), could span a decade and will likely be its largest yet – valued around $10 billion. The department issued draft requests for proposals to host sensitive and classified information and is expected to announce a single winner later this year.
Amazon, Oracle, IBM and Microsoft are believed to be the top contenders – but the single-source clause sparked concerns among rivals that Amazon was likely to be the winner, due to its other standing cloud deals – including a $600 million cloud contract with the CIA.
Last year, search giant Google pulled its bid for the JEDI contract, amid concerns the job does not align with the company’s artificial intelligence principles. Google has dealt with employee protests and concerns over producing technology for the U.S. military.