Oracle Protests Pentagon’s JEDI Cloud Contract

An Oracle corporation logo on the building of the Czech headquarters on June 18, 2016 in Prague.

An Oracle corporation logo on the building of the Czech headquarters on June 18, 2016 in Prague. josefkubes/

It's the first protest against the $10 billion cloud contract so far.

The Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, bid out less than two weeks ago, is facing its first bid protest.

Oracle, in a pre-award protest filed Monday with the Government Accountability Office, contends the Pentagon’s decision to award JEDI to a single company is improper—an argument Oracle and other companies often voiced publicly during the lead up to the contract’s release.

GAO will issue a ruling on the protest by Nov. 14, which is nearly two months after the Sept. 17 due date on industry bids for JEDI. It is unclear whether the protest will affect the Pentagon’s procurement plan for JEDI. A spokeswoman told Nextgov the Defense Department does not comment on pending litigation. 

Protests on the controversial contract, worth up to $10 billion over a decade if all options are exercised, were expected, and Defense officials likely factored potential legal battles into their acquisition timeline.

Oracle will compete for JEDI against cloud adversaries Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google, and while most industry experts don’t like Oracle’s odds of winning the contract, the company has had recent success protesting other government cloud contracts.

In May, GAO sided with Oracle in a protest the company filed in February against a $950 million cloud migration contract the Defense Department awarded to Virginia-based REAN Cloud. GAO ruled the Defense Department did not use competitive procedures to select the parties for the other transaction authority contract, and recommended the agency terminate the deal.

“The technology industry is innovating around next generation cloud at an unprecedented pace and JEDI virtually assures [the Defense Department] will be locked into legacy cloud for a decade or more," said Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger, in a statement. "The single-award approach is contrary to industry’s multi-cloud strategy, which promotes constant competition, fosters innovation and lowers prices."

JEDI will put a commercial company in charge of hosting and distributing mission-critical workloads and classified data to warfighters around the globe in a single cloud. The Defense Department aims to have some operating capabilities by mid-2019.

Washington Technology first reported the news of the bid protest.

Editor's note: This story was updated to include comments from Oracle.