"Although not legally required, [Esper] refused to participate in any decision-making after the briefings because of the hiring of his adult son with one of the original candidates for the contract," Hoffman writes.
Amazon and Microsoft are the only two companies eligible to win the huge prize after Oracle and IBM were eliminated from competition. Amazon has been widely regarded as a frontrunner for its expertise in handling CIA classified data. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
The Department of Defense's statement does not say which company Esper's son works for, how that contract information came to the Secretary's attention or why he didn't. refused earlier. [1
9659002] An IBM spokesman told The Post that Esper's son, Luke, "has been a digital strategy consultant at IBM Services since February. His role is unrelated to the pursuit of IBM for JEDI. ”
According to a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Luke Esper, who appoints him as a digital strategy consultant at IBM, the younger Esper begins work at the company in February. Mark Esper was confirmed months later in July.
"It will probably fall on deaf ears, but do not try to contact me for a request for comment, etc. etc. about something related to my dad, ”said a profile post at the end of Tuesday. "He has and will always have my full support in whatever he does. This is. "
This is the latest conflict of interest problem that presents problems with the JEDI Treaty, which seeks to centralize military computer infrastructure in the hands of a technology company that allows US military agencies to use the most advanced .
Defense officials expected to select a winner for the sought-after contract earlier this year, but suspended the order to investigate potential conflicts of interest related to Deap Ubhi, a former defense official who joined Amazon Amazon. o then contributes to procurement as a Department of Defense employee.The Pentagon's investigation found that Ubie misled the Pentagon and Amazon regarding the terms of his departure, but also determined that his role did not create an organizational conflict of interest in favor
Ubhi is one of four people who are the subject of a long-running lawsuit filed by Oracle that tried to deploy the JEDI order.
Then at the end of September, the White House asked Esper to revise the treaty after President Trump expressed concern that the award would go to Amazon. Contact was maintained while Esper was reviewing the approach.
Trump's intervention became the subject of an investigation by the Department of Defense's inspector general after members of Congress expressed concern.
Dana Deacie, who oversaw procurement as the Department of Defense. Chief Information Officer, stressed that Esper's review of the JEDI strategy is separate from the source selection process that evaluates Amazon and Microsoft's offerings. He also said the award would wait until the end of Esper's review, as well as the inspector general's investigation.
Hoffman stressed on Tuesday that the procurement "would continue to move through selection through a normal acquisition process led by career-seeking professionals"
Esper, a former Army officer who became a Reyton lobbyist secretary of the army faced difficult questions about his own business interests during his confirmation hearing when Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) spoke about her relationship with Reyton "Deadly Corruptions."
goes back to the idea that those who o they are hired through revolving door arrangements, they are necessarily corrupt.
"I went to war for this country. I served overseas for this country. I retired from jobs that paid me much more than I did anywhere else," "And every time it had to serve the public good and the young men and women of our art med forces. So, no. I think for some reason the presumption is that anyone who comes from the business or corporate world , is corrupt. ”
Shortly after the project was announced publicly last year, a group of companies, which then included Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, launched a highly publicized lobbying campaign that seeks to pressure the Pentagon to break JEDI into more than one contract.
They argue that the Department of Defense is following an approach that goes against the way most advanced companies handle cloud computing, and said such a strategy risks cybersecurity of classified information by putting too much data in the hands of one company.
"Considering what the DOD has been trying to do with this cloud – one reward and a lock for 10 years – [picking just one provider] is completely contrary to their goals," Sam Gordy, IBM's head of federal business, said in an interview last year. "This DOD cloud award is completely at odds with what the administration [Trump] says is cloud-smart."
IBM filed a protest with a Government Accountability Office seeking to block the award. It was later rejected when Oracle filed a lawsuit with the US Federal Court of Justice.
Amazon is among the candidates in favor of the single prize strategy, arguing that such an approach will allow the Department of Defense to move faster with its limited technological workforce. .
Alice Creets and Jay Green contributed to this report.