For months, the drama has been steady in the Pentagon’s decade-long, $10 billion JEDI cloud contract procurement procedure. This week the plot thickened when the DOD reported that it has actually found new proof of a possible dispute of interest, and has actually reopened its internal investigation into the matter.
” DOD can validate that new details not previously provided to DOD has actually emerged related to potential disputes of interest. As a result of this new information, DOD is continuing to investigate these potential conflicts,” Elissa Smith, Department of Defense representative told TechCrunch.
It’s not clear what this new info is about, however The Wall Street Journal reported this week that senior federal judge Eric Bruggink of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims bought that the lawsuit submitted by Oracle in December would be put on hold to permit the DOD to investigate even more.
From the start of the DOD RFP process, there have been problems that the procedure itself was designed to prefer Amazon, and that were possible disputes of interest on the part of DOD personnel. The DOD’s position throughout has been that it is an open procedure and that an investigation discovered no bearing for the dispute charges. Something forced the department to reconsider that position this week.
Oracle in specific has actually been a singing critic of the procedure. Even prior to the RFP was formally opened, it was declaring that the procedure unfairly preferred Amazon. In the court case, it made the dispute part clearer, declaring that an ex-Amazon worker called Deap Ubhi had impact over the process, a charge that Amazon rejected when it joined the case to protect itself. 4 weeks ago something changed when a single line in a court filing recommended that Ubhi’s involvement might have been more bothersome than the DOD previously thought.
At the time, I wrote:
In the file, submitted with the court on Wednesday, the federal government’s legal representatives sought to describe its legal arguments in the event. The line that attracted a lot attention specified, “Now that Amazon has sent a proposition, the contracting officer is thinking about whether Amazon’s re-hiring Mr. Ubhi produces an OCI that can not be avoided, reduced, or neutralized.” OCI means Organizational Conflict of Interest in DoD terminology.
And Pentagon representative Heather Babb informed TechCrunch:
During his employment with DDS, Mr. Deap Ubhi recused himself from work related to the JEDI agreement. DOD has investigated this problem, and we have figured out that Mr. Ubhi complied with all essential laws and guidelines.
Whether the brand-new evidence that DOD has actually discovered is referring to Ubhi’s rehiring by Amazon or not is not clear at the moment, but it has actually clearly discovered new proof it wishes to explore in this case, which has actually been enough to put the Oracle claim on hold.
Oracle’s lawsuit is the most recent in a series of actions created to object the entire JEDI procurement process. The Washington Post reported last spring that co-CEO Safra Catz complained directly to the president. The company later on filed a protest with the Federal government Responsibility Office (GAO), which it lost in November when the department’s investigation discovered no evidence of dispute. It lastly made a federal case out of it when it submitted suit in federal court in December, accusing the government of an unreasonable procurement procedure and a conflict on the part of Ubhi.
The cloud deal itself is what is at the root of this phenomenon. It’s a 10- year contract worth up to $10 billion to manage the DOD’s cloud organisation– and it’s a winner-take-all proposition. There are three out stipulations, which indicates it might never ever reach that variety of years or dollars, however it is rewarding enough, and might possibly provide inroads for other federal government contracts, that every cloud business desires to win this.
The RFP procedure closed in October and the last decision on supplier selection is supposed to happen in April. It is unclear whether this most current advancement will delay that choice.