Oracle Pledges to Keep JEDI Fight Alive In Court of Appeals

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An appeal would bring Oracle’s fight with the Pentagon to over a year, as the department prepares to announce an award.

As watchers await word from the Pentagon on who will win the multibillion-dollar contract to manage the Defense Department’s war cloud, Oracle said it will continue its battle with an appeal.

Oracle first protested the solicitation for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, contract in August 2018, just two weeks after the final solicitation was released. The Government Accountability Office denied the protest in November, prompting Oracle to file a suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in December.

The court ruled in favor of the Defense Department in a decision released July 12, stating that Oracle did not have standing to protest the solicitation, as it could not meet base requirements of the solicitation when bids were due. But the company still believes the single-award approach is unlawful and plans to challenge the court’s ruling on standing.

"The Court of Federal Claims opinion in the JEDI bid protest describes the JEDI procurement as unlawful, notwithstanding dismissal of the protest solely on the legal technicality of Oracle’s purported lack of standing. Federal procurement laws specifically bar single award procurements such as JEDI absent satisfying specific, mandatory requirements, and the court in its opinion clearly found DoD did not satisfy these requirements,” Dorian Daley, Oracle Corporation general counsel, told Nextgov in a statement. “As a threshold matter, we believe that the determination of no standing is wrong as a matter of law, and the very analysis in the opinion compels a determination that the procurement was unlawful on several grounds.”

Oracle was one of four companies to bid on JEDI, along with IBM, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. AWS and Microsoft remain in contention.

“The opinion also acknowledges that the procurement suffers from many significant conflicts of interest. These conflicts violate the law and undermine the public trust,” Daley added.

Those conflicts were aired through the course of the legal battle between Oracle and the Pentagon, including an internal investigation by the latter and an ongoing review by the Defense Inspector General. Additional alleged conflicts were made public through an underground effort that included a secret dossier that made its way around Washington.

The contract is getting extra scrutiny from the highest levels, as well, including recently confirmed Defense Secretary Mark Esper and President Donald Trump.

The Pentagon originally planned to announce the award before the end of August, though these extra reviews are likely to delay any decision.