––Rachel S. Cohen
A federal judge ruled July 12 that since Oracle didn't meet criteria outlined in the Defense Department's JEDI solictation when it sent a proposal to the Pentagon, it can't claim that the department is discriminating against it for other reasons. NASA photo.
The Pentagon’s path to award a $10 billion contract to either Amazon or Microsoft to provide a department-wide military data cloud is nearly cleared, after a federal judge on July 12 denied a bid protest from Oracle.
Senior Judge Eric Bruggink of the US Court of Federal Claims found that because Oracle could not meet certain criteria laid out in the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Department Infrastructure solicitation when it submitted its proposal, the company can’t claim the Pentagon is discriminating against it for other reasons.
“The contracting officer’s findings that an organizational conflict of interest does not exist and that individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” the court order states. A supporting opinion will come out before the court issues its final ruling.
Oracle claimed that the JEDI cloud program is tainted by Pentagon officials getting too cozy with Amazon and that the requirements were written too narrowly to allow a fair competition. Oracle and IBM’s bids were rejected earlier this year.
Last month, DOD Chief Information Officer Dana Deasy told reporters the Pentagon expects to award a contract in late August, regardless of the protest’s outcome.
The JEDI program aims to build large banks of computer servers known as the “cloud” that can hold vast troves of military information accessible around the globe and in situations where an Internet connection is unavailable.
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