The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Wednesday refused a pre-award bid protest that was filed by the tech company Oracle in August over the Pentagon’s JEDI Cloud contract (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) that worth up to USD10 billion for over 10 years. The company’s protest was argued three main points the Pentagon’s decision to award JEDI to a single company went against the statute, the terms of the contract limited competition and the agency failed to consider potential conflicts of interest related to the acquisition.
However, in its decision, GAO rejected the protest on each of those three grounds. In a statement, GAO stated agency’s decision concludes that the Defense Department’s decision to follow a single-award approach to obtain these Cloud services is consistent with applicable statutes and regulations because the agency reasonably determined that a single-award approach is in the government’s best interests for various reasons, such as security concerns, as the statute allows. GAO’s decision also concludes that the Defense Department offered reasonable support for all of the solicitation provisions that Oracle contended and exceeded the agency’s needs. GAO further noted that the agency’s decision also concludes that the allegations regarding conflicts of interest do not give a basis for sustaining Oracle’s protest.
The decision is a blow for Oracle that successfully protested another large Pentagon Cloud contract in May. That contract was worth up to USD1 billion, but pastel in size compared to JEDI. Oracle submitted a bid in October for JEDI, as competitors IBM, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services did. IBM also submitted a pre-award bid protest against JEDI two days before the deadline to submit bids and two months after Oracle’s protest. GAO’s ruling pointed out that Oracle’s and IBM’s protests could not be resolved concurrently and IBM’s protest is due Jan. 18.