Defense Secretary Mark Esper is recusing himself from the review process for the Pentagon's JEDI cloud-computing contract, citing his son's connection to the company, reports The Wall Street Journal.
"Out of an abundance of caution to avoid any concerns regarding his impartiality, Secretary Esper has delegated decision-making concerning the JEDI Cloud program" to Deputy Secretary David Norquist, a spokesman for Esper told the Journal. "The JEDI procurement will continue to move to selection through the normal acquisition process run by career acquisition professionals."
JEDI stands for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure.
Luke Esper, one of Esper's sons, has worked at IBM since February. IBM was an initial bidder.
An IBM spokeswoman told The Washington Post that Luke Esper works as a "digital strategy consultant with IBM Services since February. His role is unrelated to IBM's pursuit of JEDI."
Amazon and Microsoft had been seen as the finalists for the contract, which could be worth up to $10 billion, though President Donald Trump said other companies had complained about the bidding process.
Trump said he was "getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon," which had been favored to win the contract. "They're saying it wasn't competitively bid," the president added.
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