GAO Dismisses IBM’s JEDI Protest

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With the U.S. Court of Federal Claims addressing a similar case, the Government Accountability Office dismissed IBM’s protest.

In a procedural move, the Government Accountability Office Tuesday dismissed IBM’s pre-award bid protest against the Defense Department’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract.

In its decision, GAO said the core arguments of IBM’s protest are the “subject of litigation before a court of competent jurisdiction,” referencing the lawsuit against the Pentagon filed by a rival tech company, Oracle, on Dec. 6 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

“Oracle’s complaint before the [U.S. Court of Federal Claims] includes arguments that are the same or similar to assertions presented in IBM’s protest to our office. Accordingly, we view the matter involved in IBM’s protest as currently before a court of competent jurisdiction,” GAO said in its decision.

IBM, which filed its protest on Oct. 10—days before the Pentagon accepted bids for JEDI—argued the Defense Department erred in making JEDI a single-award contract; said the JEDI solicitation exceeded the Defense Department’s needs and contended the agency failed to properly consider “potential conflicts of interest.”

In November, GAO denied Oracle’s pre-award bid protest, which made arguments similar to IBM’s against the JEDI contract.

It is unclear how Oracle’s court case will affect the Pentagon’s JEDI acquisition, which will create a war cloud to host, process and analyze sensitive and classified data. The contract could be worth up to $10 billion over 10 years, if all options are exercised. Under the Pentagon’s current schedule, it aims to award JEDI by April 2019.