WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is examining whether Amazon Web Services created a conflict of interest by hiring a former Pentagon employee who helped develop a cloud-computing procurement contract.
AWS, a unit of Amazon.com Inc.
, is among the companies seeking the $10 billion contract to create and run much of the Pentagon’s cloud-computing services. The program, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program, or JEDI, would use cloud-computing technology to harness advanced technologies for military purposes.
A potential rival, Oracle Corp.
, has protested the bidding process, saying it has been unfairly skewed to favor AWS. It currently is suing in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking to block the awarding of any contract. Amazon has said the claims are meritless. The former Pentagon employee, Deap Ubhi, previously worked at AWS before going to the Pentagon, where he worked on the JEDI program. He later returned to work for AWS.
The Pentagon previously concluded that Ubhi “did not negatively impact the integrity of the JEDI procurement” through his work on the project, a Defense Department contracting official said in a filing this week. But in the same filing, the official said that in light of AWS’s proposal to win the contract, “I am currently considering whether AWS’s employment of Mr. Ubhi (and potentially others)” has created a conflict of interest. The filing was reported earlier by the Washington Post.
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