Judge denies Oracle's JEDI cloud protest; DOD can proceed with potential $10B award

By Justin Doubleday / July 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM

The Court of Federal Claims has denied Oracle's protest of the Defense Department's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud services solicitation, allowing DOD to move forward with the potential $10 billion award to either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft.

In an order filed today, Senior Judge Eric Bruggink denied Oracle's motion to block DOD from proceeding with the potential 10-year, $10 billion JEDI award. Oracle argued DOD requirements for the award are overly restrictive and its decision to make just a single award flawed. The company also argued individuals associated with designing the JEDI solicitation were biased in favor of Amazon, which impacted the integrity of the procurement.

But Bruggink found Oracle "cannot demonstrate prejudice as a result of other possible errors in the procurement process" because the company could not meet DOD's gate criteria at the time of proposal submissions last fall.

He also threw out Oracle's arguments disputing the JEDI contracting officer's findings that there were no organizational conflicts of interest and the individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement. The contracting officer's findings "were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law," Bruggink wrote.

Defense Department spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a statement that DOD was "pleased with the determination made by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. This reaffirms the DOD's position: the JEDI Cloud procurement process has been conducted as a fair, full and open competition, which the contracting officer and her team executed in compliance with the law. DOD has an urgent need to get these critical capabilities in place to support the warfighter and we have multiple military services and Combatant Commands waiting on the availability of JEDI. Our focus continues to be on finalizing the award decision." 

In a statement provided to Inside Defense, Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger did not address the decision, but said Oracle will continue working with DOD and the broader federal government.

"Oracle's cloud infrastructure 2.0 provides significant performance and security capabilities over legacy cloud providers," Hellinger wrote. "We look forward to working with the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and other public-sector agencies to deploy modern, secure hyperscale cloud solutions that meet their needs."

In a statement, AWS said it "stands ready to support and serve what’s most important -- the DOD's mission of protecting the security of our country." 

DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy recently told reporters the Pentagon is planning to make the JEDI award sometime in August. DOD has narrowed the set of eligible bidders to just Amazon and Microsoft.

Meanwhile, the House Appropriations Committee's fiscal year 2020 defense spending bill fences funding for DOD to migrate data and applications to the JEDI cloud environment until DOD provides more information on how it will transition to a multi cloud environment.