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When a Government Contract Process Is This Crony Corrupt - You Should Start Over
That’s the DC Way
The old workman’s saying is: Measure twice - cut once:
“One should always double check one's measurements before cutting materials to minimize the chance of mistakes thus wasting materials, time and money.”
The federal government spends $4 trillion per year. It has spent so much for so long - it has created ten of the richest twenty counties in all of America.
Does the government adhere to our old workman’s saying? Heavens no.
Because it isn’t their money they’re spending. It’s human nature. It’s the Wallet Rule:
“If you go out on a Friday night with your wallet, and you go out the following Friday night with my wallet – on which Friday night are you going to have more fun?
“Obviously, you’re going to have a whole lot more fun with my wallet – because you don’t care what my wallet looks like at the end of the evening.
“Well, government is always on other peoples’ wallets – ours. In gambling parlance – they’re playing with house money.
“Government will never spend money as wisely or well as the people who earned it – from whom government takes it.”
Especially when the money is going to a crony. Why trim the fat, waste, fraud and abuse - when the coin that isn’t yours is going to a friend?
Speaking of massive government contracts - and massive government cronies:
“(O)n July 26, the Defense Department issued a request for proposals called JEDI, short for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. Whoever winds up landing the winner-take-all contract will be awarded $10 billion – instantly becoming one of America’s biggest federal contractors.
“But when JEDI was issued, on the day Congress recessed for the summer, the deal appeared to be rigged in favor of a single provider: Amazon.
“According to insiders familiar with the 1,375-page request for proposal, the language contains a host of technical stipulations that only Amazon can meet, making it hard for other leading cloud-services providers to win—or even apply for—the contract.
“One provision, for instance, stipulates that bidders must already generate more than $2 billion a year in commercial cloud revenues—a ‘bigger is better’ requirement that rules out all but a few of Amazon’s rivals.
“What’s more, the process of crafting JEDI bears all the hallmarks of the swamp that Trump has vowed to drain. Though there has long been talk about the Defense Department joining the cloud, the current call for bids was put together only after Defense Secretary James Mattis hired a D.C. lobbyist who had previously consulted for Amazon.
“The lobbyist, Sally Donnelly, served as a top advisor to Mattis while the details of JEDI were being hammered out. During her tenure, Mattis flew to Seattle to tour Amazon’s headquarters and meet with Jeff Bezos. Then, as the cloud-computing contract was being finalized, Donnelly’s former lobbying firm, SBD Advisors, was bought by an investment fund with ties to Amazon’s cloud-computing unit.
“Congressional insiders who have reviewed the process question whether Donnelly violated a federal law that bars executive-branch employees from participating in government decisions that affect their personal interests.
“‘We recently became aware of serious and possible criminal violations related to the Amazon cloud DOD contract process,’ says a high-ranking congressional staffer who spoke on the condition of anonymity. ‘We are concerned about the implications of the appearance of conflicts of interest and impropriety related to how Pentagon personnel with close ties to Amazon may have influenced multi-billion-dollar cloud contracts.’…
“Amazon’s high-ranking connections in the Pentagon underscore how Jeff Bezos continues to wield influence in Washington, even as the president himself rails against the online goliath. It also raises a larger question: How do you drain a swamp when the alligators are bigger than ever?
How huge and crony is it?
“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts….
“Meet Deap Ubhi…Ubhi describes himself as (The United States Digital Service) USDS’ ‘Product Guy.’
"Sounds like procurement to me.
“Ubhi’s LinkedIn headline says he works for USDS – but his employment history says he works as ‘Product Director’ for the Defense’s Department’s (Defense Digital Service) DDS.
“Sounds like procurement to me.
“And where did Ubhi work immediately prior to government? Why look…uber-Big Tech company Amazon. You know, the company owned and operated by Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man and an outspoken anti-Trump agitator.
And Ubhi didn’t just work for Amazon. He worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud storage company.
So Amazon has had the entire $10 billion government contract process rigged. From the very beginning. From the outside - in. And from the inside - out.
“‘Amazon was basically able to write the playbook….When you have that kind of access during a $10 billion procurement, that compromises the integrity of the procurement,’ says John Weiler, an industry expert who runs a trade group that includes many leading IT firms.”
All of which leaves one with but one reasonable thought.
This entire government contracting process - was utterly corrupt.
Corrupted by Amazon - and it’s very many DC cronies.
Which leaves one with but one reasonable conclusion.
This entire government contracting process should be scrapped - and started anew.
And this time - we should measure prior to cutting.
And this time - we should do so without Amazon in the mix.
Their corruption - should render them disqualified.
This first appeared in Red State.