CLOUD

UPDATED: New timeline approved for JEDI court battle

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated Tuesday morning with additional information about the judge lifting the stay in the case and date for oral arguments)

The court battle over the Defense Department’s JEDI cloud computing infrastructure contract is moving ahead after that competition was narrowed from four bidders to two and an internal DOD investigation into that procurement completed, both late last week.

According to court filings posted Tuesday, Court of Federal Claims Judge Eric Bruggink has lifted a stay on the case stemming from an Oracle lawsuit against the procurement and approved a new timeline for the matter, including a new date for oral arguments.

Oracle and DOD will present oral arguments during the week of July 8 -- exact date still to be determined by the judge -- and the department will not award the potential $10 billion contract before July 19.

A stay on the case and delay in oral arguments came as DOD investigated Oracle's allegations of a conflict of interest that involved former Amazon Web Services employee Deap Ubhi, who in between stints at the cloud giant worked at DOD and on the JEDI procurement.

Oracle claimed Ubhi's involvement affected the procurement and JEDI’s contracting officer did not sufficiently investigate that potential conflict. DOD's investigation found Ubhi's work had "no adverse impact" on the procurement, a department spokeswoman told WT in a statement Thursday.

AWS is one of two final contenders for the JEDI contract with Microsoft after DOD made a downselect late last week. Oracle and IBM were the other two bidders for the contract. Given the nature of the allegations, AWS joined the case as a defendant-intervenor in December of last year.

A court filing posted Monday notes that DOD in its investigation also determined that AWS “has no organizational conflict of interest that requires its exclusion from the procurement."

Potential conflicts of interest are not the only issue Oracle has raised in its lawsuit to try and stop JEDI in its current form. The company is also fighting against DOD’s strategy to award the contract to a single vendor and that JEDI’s technical requirements were designed to shrink the competition.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at rwilkers@washingtontechnology.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also find and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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