The ruling against Oracle allows the government to award the contract in August to Microsoft or Amazon Web Services.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as we get more details.
The Defense Department has triumphed in the eight-month-long U.S. Court of Federal Claims lawsuit filed by Oracle over its $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract.
On Friday, Senior Judge Eric Bruggink ruled in favor the Defense Department—and Amazon Web Services, which joined the lawsuit as an intervener—stating that Oracle could not meet certain gate criteria when bids were due in late 2018.
The judge’s order also denied numerous allegations made my Oracle over the course of several months, including an alleged conflict of interest between AWS and Defense Department officials.
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“Because the court finds that [gate criteria] is enforceable, and Oracle concedes that it could not meet that criteria at the time of proposal submission, we conclude that it cannot demonstrate prejudice as a result of other possible errors in the procurement process,” Bruggink’s order states. “We conclude as well that the contracting officer’s findings that an organizational conflict of interest does not exist and that individual conflicts of interest did not impact the procurement were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law”.
The decision comes 18 months into the competition for JEDI among several large tech companies that included influence campaigns, a dossier full of allegations of impropriety on AWS’ behalf and three bid protests.
Last month, the Pentagon’s top tech official, Dana Deasy, told reporters the Defense Department planned to award JEDI in August to either Microsoft or AWS. Bids from other competitors, IBM and Oracle, did not make the final cut. AWS remains the only commercial cloud provider that meets the government’s stringent standards to host, store and analyze classified secret and top secret data.
JEDI will be a commercially built and operated cloud to host battlefield, tactical and classified data to be analyzed and used to increase the lethality and connectivity of warfighters at the tactical edge. The Pentagon first came up with the concept for JEDI in late 2017 and the project is the centerpiece of the department’s cloud strategy.
Oracle could appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. When reached for comment, Oracle did not say whether it would appeal.
“Oracle’s cloud infrastructure 2.0 provides significant performance and security capabilities over legacy cloud providers. We look forward to working with the Department of Defense, the Intelligence Community, and other public sector agencies to deploy modern, secure hyperscale cloud solutions that meet their needs,” the company said in a statement to Nextgov.
Historically, appeals to U.S. Court of Federal Claims decisions are rare government contracting cases. Three years ago, data analytics firm Palantir successfully sued the Army over its Distributed Common Ground System procurement, ultimately prevailing after losing its initial bid protest with the Government Accountability Office.