DOD’s JEDI Contract Subject to Further Scrutiny | Citizens Against Government Waste

DOD’s JEDI Contract Subject to Further Scrutiny

The WasteWatcher

The Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud services contract is facing new challenges as the Pentagon investigates potential conflicts of interest by former employees involved in the drafting of the request for proposal (RFP).

The $10 billion contract is a multi-year effort to modernize DOD’s information technology (IT) systems into a cloud services solution.  The winning contractor of this sole source award will be expected to deliver an enterprise-level commercial cloud solution, including Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service, to all defense agencies and military branches.

When the RFP was announced, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Lt. General VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson raised concerns about the nature of the sole-source contract.  She stated that she does not want the Air Force to use one cloud provider, since “multi-cloud” will give the enemy “a targeting problem.”

On October 22, 2018, Reps. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) asked the DOD Office of Inspector General (IG) to investigate the manner in which the contract requirements were developed, as it appeared 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.

On December 10, 2018, CAGW led a coalition of concerned organizations in a letter to the DOD Office of Inspector General supporting the representatives’ request for an investigation, noting that, “the requirements for the RFP appear to be tailor-made for one specific cloud computing vendor.”

DOD is now investigating a potential conflict of interest from one of the employees who drafted the contract request because the employee had worked at one of the companies competing for the JEDI contract prior to employment with DOD and has since left DOD and been rehired by that same company.  The entire JEDI contract process has been murky at best, and a bit scatterbrained in its insistence on a sole-source contract that would leave all the national security eggs in one basket.

The individual services are not waiting around for JEDI to be implemented before transitioning IT systems to the cloud.  In September 2018, the Navy issued a multi-cloud, multi-vendor award to CSRA, a General Dynamics Information Technology Company, which will “act as the commercial cloud broker for the Navy.”  The award could reach up to $95 million by the time the transition is completed.  Other cloud migration projects being undertaken by the individual services include the Army’s Accent contract and the Air Force’s managed services office.  Both of those will also be multi-cloud, multi-vendor deals.

At the same time that DOD is in the process of moving ahead with a sole source cloud for the entire department through JEDI, the Air Force, Army, and Navy are planning and awarding multi-cloud solutions, which is the standard practice throughout the private sector.  Regardless of the outcome of the various challenges and investigations, the force is not with JEDI.   It is time to pull the plug and start over with a new RFP that is clearly intended to be a multi-vendor, multi-cloud solution.