Oracle takes protest against military's JEDI cloud project to Court of Federal Claims

By Justin Doubleday / December 7, 2018 at 3:28 PM

Oracle America has taken the next step in challenging the Pentagon's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud solicitation, filing suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims after the Government Accountability Office dismissed the company's arguments last month.

Oracle filed a pre-award injunction with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims yesterday. As with the GAO protest, the company is being represented by the law firm Arnold & Porter, according to the case docket.

Oracle's complaint is sealed under a protective order. The docket indicates a "status conference" to determine how the case will progress is scheduled for Dec. 13.

In a statement provided to Inside Defense today, Oracle executive Ken Glueck argued JEDI would lock the Defense Department into a single cloud provider for the next decade.

"The single-award approach is contrary to well established procurement requirements and is out of sync with industry's multicloud strategy, which promotes constant competition, fosters rapid innovation and lowers prices," Glueck said.

Last month, GAO dismissed Oracle's protest after concluding DOD "reasonably determined" a single-award approach for JEDI is in the government's best interest. GAO found the department met the requirements for justifying a single-award contract and dismissed Oracle's allegations that conflicts of interest skewed DOD's requirements toward a specific contractor.

Under the JEDI contract, the Pentagon will pick one company to provide cloud services infrastructure across the entire department, including in tactical edge environments. The contract has a ceiling of $10 billion and a maximum length of 10 years.

The Pentagon closed the window on bids for the JEDI contract in October and is slated to make an award in April.

IBM has also filed a bid protest against JEDI with GAO, arguing the single-award strategy is flawed and the solicitation was written with "just one company in mind." A decision on IBM's protest is due Jan. 18.

Amazon Web Services is largely seen as the front-runner for the JEDI contract because of its prior government certifications working with the CIA, as well as its ability to scale to DOD's requirements. As was expressed in Oracle's protest, some competitors also believe DOD's requirements are biased toward AWS because some department officials had a prior relationship working on behalf of Amazon.