Pentagon Extends JEDI Deadline Again—With a Catch

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The department is requiring bidders to deliver their proposals in person.

Companies bidding on the Defense Department’s multibillion-dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract will need to hand-deliver their proposals.

“In lieu of electronic submission, an offeror’s entire proposal shall be captured on one or more DVDs and submitted in person only. No other forms of submission will be accepted,” the department said in an amendment to the JEDI request for proposal posted Monday.

The department also pushed the deadline back a few days. Bidders must contact JEDI procurement officials by 5 p.m. Eastern time Oct. 10 to get logistical details for turning in their proposals in person on Oct. 12.

It’s the second time the department extended JEDI’s original Sept. 17 deadline, following other amendments that answered industry questions and a pre-award bid protest from Oracle.  

Defense officials describe the JEDI acquisition as the foundation for hosting mission-critical data for warfighters around the world. But since it was announced a year ago, the procurement has drawn scrutiny from industry and lawmakers for requiring a single cloud service provider instead of multiple vendors. The contract could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years if all the follow-on options are exercised.

But before the project sees a cent, Congress wants more insight into JEDI and the rest of the department’s cloud computing projects. In the final conference report for the Defense-related minibus, appropriators order the defense secretary to deliver a cloud-centric budget accounting plan and a detailed, enterprisewide cloud computing strategy that includes “defining opportunities for multiple cloud service providers.” The department would be prohibited from spending anything on JEDI or the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions—another multibillion-dollar cloud contract—until 90 days after those plans are delivered to defense committees.

“The conferees believe cloud computing, if implemented properly, will have far-reaching benefits for improving the efficiency of day-to-day operations of the Department of Defense, as well as enabling new military capabilities critical to maintaining a tactical advantage over adversaries,” lawmakers wrote in the joint explanatory statement.

The Senate passed the minibus—which also includes labor, health, education and a continuing resolution—last week. The House is scheduled to vote on the package this week.