US judge dismisses challenge over Department of Defense mega-cloud contract

The US Department of Defense looks set to award a $10bn cloud contract after a legal challenge to the procurement process failed

The US Department of Defense’s (DoD) $10bn cloud services contract looks set to go to Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft after a challenge from Oracle was dismissed by a federal judge.

The supplier for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract is expected to be announced this week.

Oracle had complained that the procurement was unfair. This included complaints that the contract would be awarded to one supplier rather than broken up.

But US Court of Federal Claims judge Eric Bruggink denied Oracle’s claims.

Bruggink said Oracle could not demonstrate prejudice in the JEDI contract process. “We conclude ... that the contracting officer’s findings that an organisational 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,” said Bruggink.

AWS, which was a defendant in the case, said in a statement: “AWS, along with our partner community, stands ready to support and serve what’s most important – the DoD’s mission of protecting the security of our country. The DoD deserves access to the best technology in the world, and we are unwavering in our support to their mission.”

Elissa Smith, a DoD spokesperson, said in a statement: “[The] determination made by the US Court of Federal Claims reaffirms the DoD’s position: the JEDI Cloud procurement process has been conducted as a fair, full and open competition, which the contracting officer and her team executed in compliance with the law.

“DoD has an urgent need to get these critical capabilities in place to support the warfighter, and we have multiple military services and combatant commands waiting on the availability of JEDI. Our focus continues to be on finalising the award decision.”

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