Congressional Eye Turns to DOD's JEDI Contract | Citizens Against Government Waste

Congressional Eye Turns to DOD's JEDI Contract

The WasteWatcher

One wonders if the “Force” is working against the Department of Defense (DOD) with its Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project (JEDI).  The contract bid request that by some estimates could reach $10 billion to build an enterprise-level commercial cloud solution, including Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, to support the all defense agencies and military branches, has now come under heightened scrutiny by two members of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee.

Since early January, the JEDI acquisition process has had problems, including the award of a sole-source $950 million contract to a small Amazon Web Services provider using its other transaction agreement (OTA) authority.  DOD released its final Request for Proposal (RFP) for the JEDI contract on July 26, 2018.  Since that time, four companies have decided to bid on the contract (Amazon Web Services, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle), and two companies (IBM and Oracle) have also filed bid protests related to the way the proposal request was formulated.  As noted by Citizens Against Government Waste President Tom Schatz, “Yoda would call the protracted process leading up to this contract and the RFP itself how to do not procurement in the federal government.”

In this most recent turn of events, Reps Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) have requested the DOD Office of Inspector General (IG) to investigate the manner in which the contract requirements were developed, as it appears some of these requirements could “only be met by one contractor.”  The Representatives also expressed concern that some of the individual involved in the development of the RFP may have had connections with a specific contractor and asked the IG to look further into these allegations.

Having an independent review of a contract the size and scope of the JEDI proposal is a necessary step towards protecting taxpayer resources from being squandered or misused and allowing all potential bidders to have an equal chance of providing the DOD with the best possible solution to meet its needs.