judge gavel, cloud background

Oracle keeps hammering on JEDI

Oracle's latest filing in its long-running dispute over whether the requirements in the Defense Department's $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud procurement were manipulated to favor Amazon Web Services was released with redactions on June 28.

The company, which along with IBM was eliminated in the JEDI down select, continues with two argument tracks: first that the Defense Department's plan for a single-award cloud contract violates the intent of Congress in procurement law; and second that individuals with ties to AWS created requirements that tilted the procurement toward the cloud giant -- and that those individuals were paid off with lucrative jobs after the requirements were set.

"The plan worked," the Oracle filing states. "Only the two largest global cloud companies cleared these gates."

The filing takes pains to argue that even if the conflict-of-interest claims are not adjudicated in Oracle's favor, the alleged violations of procurement law should be enough for the court to ask DOD to rewrite the solicitation.

"If the court determines that DOD violated the prohibition against large single source awards or irrationally overrode Congress' multiple awards to the 'maximum extent practicable' direction, the court need not consider the other counts as DOD will have to consider various lawful alternatives to meeting its needs," Oracle's legal team states.

Similarly, Oracle argues that several of the gate requirements that limited final JEDI selection to two candidates – AWS and Microsoft – violated the law whether or not they were consciously designed to favor a particular vendor.

As the case moves ahead, with lawyers for Oracle, the Justice Department and AWS scheduled to make oral arguments before the Court of Federal Claims on July 10, DOD is preparing to make an award in late August.

"We anticipate a court decision prior to that time," DOD CIO Dana Deasy said in a statement. "The DOD will comply with the court's decision. While the acquisition and litigation processes are proceeding independently, the JEDI implementation will be subject to the determination of the court." 

A longer version of this article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Authors

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at lwilliams@fcw.com, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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