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Oracle fights on against JEDI cloud contract

Unwilling to give up its fight over the Defense Department's $10 billion cloud procurement, Oracle is appealing a July ruling by Court of Federal Claims that denied the company’s protest over the potential Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract.

Oracle is headed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit --which is more widely known for having jurisdiction on patent cases -- without waiting for the outcome of two ongoing reviews of the contract inside of DOD by Secretary Mark Esper and the inspector general.

The JEDI contract was expected to be awarded to either Amazon Web Services or Microsoft as soon as late August.

Court of Federal Claims Judge Eric Bruggink ruled last month against Oracle’s claim that the JEDI procurement was tainted by conflicts of interesting involving three people who worked for AWS and DOD at different various points as JEDI was being developed, as well as the claim that the solicitation was written to narrow competition.

An investigation by DOD’s contracting officer overseeing JEDI found there was no “organizational conflict of interest” that affected the contract itself, according to the ruling against Oracle that quoted the contracting officer’s report. Either the conflicts did not exist or were not significant, and they had been sufficiently mitigated.

The judge did find merit in Oracle’s argument that DOD’s decision to make JEDI a single-award contract versus multiple-award violated some procurement rules, but that did not matter because Oracle could not get through gateway requirements to be considered for an award. Oracle admitted it could not meet those requirements when bids were due to DOD last year.

Both Oracle and IBM were eliminated from the competition through a downselect in April that narrowed the competition to AWS and Microsoft.

Oracle’s statement to announce the appeal largely reiterates many of the same points the company has already made to the Court of Federal Claims and the General Accountability Office, the latter of which denied a protest by Oracle late last year

"The Court of Federal Claims opinion in the JEDI bid protest describes the JEDI procurement as unlawful, notwithstanding dismissal of the protest solely on the legal technicality of Oracle's purported lack of standing. Federal procurement laws specifically bar single award procurements such as JEDI absent satisfying specific, mandatory requirements, and the Court in its opinion clearly found DOD did not satisfy these requirements,” Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley said in the statement.

"The opinion also acknowledges that the procurement suffers from many significant conflicts of interest. These conflicts violate the law and undermine the public trust," Daley continued. "As a threshold matter, we believe that the determination of no standing is wrong as a matter of law, and the very analysis in the opinion compels a determination that the procurement was unlawful on several grounds."

This article was first posted to Washington Technology, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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