Oracle sues DOD over $10 billion cloud buy

Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike 

After losing out in a Government Accountability Office bid protest, Oracle is taking its case against the Pentagon's proposed $10 billion, 10-year cloud infrastructure deal to federal court.

Oracle is suing in the Court of Federal Claims. The case was filed under seal on Dec. 6. According to court documents, the case was assigned to Senior Judge Eric G. Bruggink. A filing requesting the case be sealed argued that the filing, "contains confidential and proprietary source selection and proposal information not appropriate for release to the public" as well as information, "subject to a protective order issued by the United States Government Accountability Office."

A response from the Department of Defense is due Feb. 4.   

"The technology industry is innovating around next generation cloud at an unprecedented pace and JEDI as currently envisioned virtually assures DOD will be locked into legacy cloud for a decade or more," said Ken Glueck, Oracle's senior vice president. "The single-award approach is contrary to well established procurement requirements and is out of sync with industry’s multi-cloud strategy, which promotes constant competition, fosters rapid innovation and lowers prices."

Oracle has long been vocal about objections to the structure and requirements of the ongoing Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, including plans to proceed with a single award and a demand for vendors to meet security classification level only held currently by a single vendor -- Amazon Web Services. (Microsoft announced in October that it would meet similar requirements in time to take on the work of the JEDI contract, should it win.)

Oracle also objected to potential conflicts of interest regarding the former employment of several DOD personnel by AWS.

Ralph O. White, GAO's managing associate general counsel for procurement law, said DOD reasonably decided "a single-award approach is in the government’s best interests for various reasons, including national security concerns." GAO also said that allegations of conflicts of interest among participants in the design of the procurement "do not provide a basis for sustaining Oracle's protest."

IBM has a JEDI protest pending at GAO, which is recently supplemented. A decision is due Jan. 18, but according to FCW's sibling publication Washington Technology, GAO will likely dismiss IBM's protest. That's because the Court of Federal Claims trumps GAO's bid protest adjudication authority, and if Oracle is litigating issues similar to the IBM, the court's ruling will determine the outcome of IBM's protest.

This article was updated Dec. 8 with new information.

About the Author

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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