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Judge denies Oracle's JEDI protest

Well, that didn’t take long.

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Eric Bruggink heard oral arguments in Oracle’s protest of the JEDI cloud computing contract on Wednesday, and Friday morning issued a ruling that is pretty much a slam dunk for the Defense Department and Amazon.

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The judge ruled against Oracle’s claims that the solicitation was written to limit competition, and that AWS and DOD had both organizational and personal conflicts of interest because of people who moved from AWS to DOD, then back to AWS during the development of the JEDI contract. Bruggink also ruled against Oracle's claim against DOD's single-award approach.

But the real killer in the decision was that court found that the solicitation’s gate criteria, which bidders had to pass in order to be consider was “enforceable.” Oracle conceded to the court that it could not meet that criteria at the time it filed its proposal.

“We conclude that [Oracle] cannot demonstrate prejudice as a result of other possible errors in the procurement process,” Bruggink wrote in his two-page ruling.

In other words, it didn’t matter whether there were other mistakes in the solicitation. The gateway requirement was legitimate and Oracle couldn’t meet it so it couldn’t have won the contract anyway.

Bruggink also supported the contracting officer’s findings that an organizational conflict of interest didn’t exist and that the alleged individual conflicts of interest did not have an impact on the procurement.

The judge said that contracting officer’s findings “were not arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law.”

In denying the Oracle motion for judgment, the judge granted DOD’s and AWS’ cross motions to dismiss the case.

The ruling is a victory for DOD and AWS as well as for Microsoft. DOD made a downselect earlier this year that rejected Oracle’s and IBM’s bids, making the competition for JEDI a two-horse race between AWS and Microsoft.

Bruggink said he will issue a supporting opinion that will go into more detail on why he reached his conclusions.

His decision clears the way for DOD make a JEDI award sometime this summer or early in the fall. But Oracle does have the option of appealing to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jul 12, 2019 at 8:18 AM


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