JEDI seemingly rolls on after settling legal case
- By Lauren C. Williams
- Jul 30, 2019
Although it ultimately made no difference in the Department of Defense's ability to award its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, Federal Claims Court Judge Eric G. Bruggink did find that DOD officials used a faulty legal justification for the decision to make JEDI a single-award contract.
Nevertheless, the judge found that Oracle could not be harmed by DOD's misstep because the company failed to meet a key "gate criteria," and so he allowed the JEDI award to proceed.
In the ruling that was unsealed July 26, Bruggink also found that Pentagon officials' argument for making an exception -- that all JEDI purchases would be firm, fixed-price task orders with prices set by the initial contract -- did not hold up to scrutiny because the contract also requires to the winning company to continue to add new commercial cloud services as they evolve.
"In an ordinary reading, prices for specific services must be 'established' at the time of contracting," Bruggink wrote. "Prices for new, additional services to be identified and priced in the future, even if they may be capped in some cases, are not, by definition, fixed or established at the time of contracting."
DOD doesn't see it the same way, but was satisfied with the outcome.
"While DOD disagrees with the Court's analysis on the Department's use of the fixed price justification for the single award determination, we also note the Court upheld DOD's companion justification for a single award," Department of Defense spokeswoman Elissa Smith said in a July 28 statement.
The planned cloud acquisition has been generating significant attention and scrutiny in recent days. The new Defense Secretary Mark Esper has pledged to take a look at the procurement, and President Donald Trump weighed in from the White House.
An award is expected in August with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft in the running.
Versions of this article were first posted to FCW, a sibling site to Defense Systems.
Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, covering defense and cybersecurity.
Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.
Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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