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Oracle to launch fresh court appeal against US Department of Defense’s $10bn JEDI cloud contract

Database giant has confirmed it will appeal the US Federal Court’s dismissal of its previous legal challenge over JEDI cloud contract

Oracle is launching another legal action over the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) bid to award a decade-long cloud contract, valued at $10bn, to either Microsoft or Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The database software giant has confirmed it plans to appeal against the US Federal Court’s dismissal of its past claims that the DoD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud procurement has been conducted in a biased way that has unfairly favoured AWS throughout.

In a statement, Dorian Daley, general counsel for Oracle, restated the company’s misgivings about the handling of the JEDI contract, while also claiming that last month’s Federal Court ruling was out of step with its own procurement rules.

“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,” said Daley.

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

“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.”

This is far from the first legal challenge Oracle has launched in relation to JEDI – the firm has emerged as a vocal opponent to parts of the procurement since it was announced in September 2017.

Despite this, Oracle is known to have, at one point, been in contention for the contract, before the DoD confirmed in April 2019 that it had narrowed the field of potential suppliers to Microsoft and AWS.

Whoever secures the contract will be responsible for providing the DoD with access to a general-purpose cloud environment that will be used to host the department’s on-premise applications and systems, as part of a large-scale datacentre consolidation push by the organisation.

Read more about the JEDI cloud contract

It is also unclear at this point what bearing Oracle’s latest legal challenge will have on the DoD’s decisions on which suppliers to award it to and when, given that the contract is currently being subjected to an internal probe at the Pentagon.

This investigation was prompted by comments made by US president Donald Trump that he had received numerous complaints about the contract from the likes of Microsoft, IBM and Oracle.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, until the investigation into the deal is completed, the Pentagon has confirmed that no announcements about who has secured the contract will be forthcoming, despite the initial contract award date being almost 12 months late.

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