IBM's protest against the Pentagon's $10 billion cloud dismissed by GAO

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The Government Accountability Office dismissed a pre-award protest from IBM against the Defense Department's Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure procurement in deference to a federal court that is hearing a lawsuit on a related case.

GAO said in its decision that Oracle's lawsuit in the Court of Federal Claims against DOD over the $10 billion, single-source JEDI procurement involved "arguments that are the same or similar to assertions presented in IBM's protest to our Office." In such cases, GAO routinely defers to the court.

IBM did not have any comment about the dismissal or whether it intends to join Oracle's lawsuit.

In its complaint, released with redactions Dec. 10, Oracle argued that the Department of Defense push to mandate a single-award process in its cloud procurement is in violation of federal acquisition law. Oracle also alleged that the requirements were developed to favor Amazon Web Services and that two individuals formerly working on the JEDI project at DOD were tainted by ties to AWS.

On Dec. 12, AWS moved to intervene in the case as a defendant, citing the conflict-of-interest allegations in its filing.

"AWS has direct and substantial economic interests at stake in this case, and its disposition clearly could impair those interests," the filing stated. The company also noted that it has "separate interests that the Government has no incentive to defend, such as AWS's proprietary and financial interests in its proposal and AWS's reputational interest in defending against Oracle's meritless conflict of interest allegations."

Oracle can object to the intervention by AWS, but it has yet to do so, according to the docket. An email to an Oracle public affairs representative was not immediately returned.

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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