Latest filings in JEDI lawsuit offer an inside look into the cloud program

Amazon Web Services and the Justice Department push back on Oracle's claims of conflict of interest in a pair of court filings this week.

cloud (vs148/Shutterstock.com)
 

Court filings from Amazon Web Services and the Justice Department in an ongoing lawsuit with Oracle over the Pentagon's $10 billion single-award cloud procurement provide a window into the development of the requirements and what the Defense Department hopes to get out of its planned massive cloud program.

AWS is helping the Department of Defense fight Oracle's lawsuit as a defendant largely because much of Oracle's case hinges on a conflict-of-interest claim regarding a former DOD employee with ties to the web giant. Oracle claims that Deap Ubhi, a current AWS employee with longstanding ties to the company who worked on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure program as a member of the Defense Digital Service, helped formulate requirements in the cloud buy to the benefit of AWS.

Oracle bid on the contract, but was cut from the competition along with IBM for failure to meet certain gate requirements. AWS and Microsoft remain in the running for the award, which is set to be made in July of this year, after the case currently pending in the Court of Federal Claims winds up.

According to the Justice Department filing, DOD was in the midst of "robust debate" over whether to structure JEDI as a single-award or multiple-award contract as late as April 2018, with a final decision not coming until that July. Ubhi recused himself from participation in JEDI in late October 2017, according to the filing and other court documents, including citations from an internal DOD report from the contracting officer regarding possible conflict of interest on Ubhi's part.

According to the internal report, cited in both filings, "all the key decisions for the JEDI Cloud procurement, such as the actual RFP terms and whether to award one or multiple contracts, were made well after Mr. Ubhi recused himself, after being vetted by numerous DoD personnel to ensure that the JEDI Cloud RFP truly reflects DoD's requirement."

The AWS filing states that "Oracle's assertion that Mr. Ubhi somehow influenced each decision is not only illogical but a nakedly self-serving attempt to impugn the integrity of the entire Department of Defense."

A Justice Department filing also opposing a judgment in favor of Oracle on the basis of the administrative record concludes that even if the court decides that the Pentagon's internal report on organizational conflict of interest was flawed, the only relief that should be offered to Oracle is to require any award to AWS to wait until any conflicts are fully mitigated or waived by DOD.

"Even if Oracle were reinstated into the competition, its chances of being awarded the JEDI contract would be slim, minimizing the harm of its exclusion," Justice Department attorneys stated. "Accordingly, Oracle would probably be better off with an award of bid preparation costs instead of an injunction."

AWS also cited a pre-solicitation justification memorandum from DDS Deputy Director Tim Van Name from July 2018 that defends a JEDI requirement that DOD's unclassified use of the platform will not constitute 50% of a vendor's total cloud use across network, compute and storage.

"Not including this criteria will risk future military operations that depend on the overall ability of the Offeror to support surge usage at vital times," Van Name stated in his memorandum.

Another filing in the case released this week includes a declaration from Lt. Gen. Bradford Shwedo, the CIO for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the "urgency and importance" of the JEDI cloud acquisition.

"As data increases in size and complexity, our current compartmentalized management of data is untenable to assist our warfighters at the speed of relevance," Shwedo said. "JEDI Cloud is critical to safeguarding our technological advantage against those that seek to harm our nation."

In particular, Shwedo stated that JEDI is critical to providing infrastructure and artificial intelligence capability to analyze surveillance data from across the military services that is currently not being exploited. The planned cloud infrastructure will also serve as a backup to traditional cable-linked communications in the event of a disruption -- a real risk on the Korean peninsula in particular, Shwedo said. An enterprisewide cloud will also improve and accelerate training and therefore force readiness, he said.

"Delaying implementation of JEDI Cloud will negatively impact our efforts to plan, fight, and win in communications compressed environments and will negatively impact our efforts to improve force readiness and hamper our critical efforts in AI," Shwedo stated.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.