BUTLER COUNTY, IOWA – Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is continuing to press the Department of Defense on the new Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) program, alleged conflicts of interest pertaining to those charged with creating its bid and reported disputes between bidders and the Department. This comes after the Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) completed a review and provided recommendations in response to Grassley and members of Congress raising concerns about the JEDI program.
In a letter to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Grassley requested information on how the Department regulations will change as a result of the findings in the OIG’s report.
“The OIG report found that, at the very least, there was an appearance of impropriety in the formation and design of the JEDI bid proposal. In addition, the OIG report found Department employees had ‘lied’ to the Department regarding their relationship with companies that were expected to bid on, or actively competing for, the JEDI contract. ‘Lie’ is a word not often used by any OIG,” Grassley wrote.
“To counteract the appearance of a conflict of interest and to improve the bidding process, the OIG provided several recommendations in the JEDI report, including policy changes and administrative actions against Department personnel. The report, states ‘[t]he responsible officials did not respond to the recommendations on the draft version of [the] report. Therefore, the recommendations are unresolved. [The OIG] request[s] that the appropriate officials provide comments on this final report.’ The Department has failed to do so thus far.”
Last year, Grassley sent a letter to then Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan, seeking information on Department policies intended to mitigate conflicts of interest and prevent the tailoring of procurement requests to match a specific vendor, as alleged in the JEDI program procurement process. The Department’s responses to Grassley’s request can be found HERE and HERE.
Full text of the letter Grassley sent yesterday can be found HERE.
Full text of the response from DOD can be found HERE.