House Appropriations Imposes Limits on JEDI Contract | Citizens Against Government Waste

House Appropriations Imposes Limits on JEDI Contract

The WasteWatcher

The House Appropriations Committee released its report to accompany the Department of Defense (DOD) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020.  Included in the report is language that would restrict the expenditure of funds for the DOD’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud procurement.

The committee report prohibits funds from being “obligated or expended to migrate data and applications to the JEDI cloud until the Chief Information Officer of the DOD provides a report to the congressional defense committees on how the Department plans to eventually transition to a multi-cloud environment.”  This language puts the DOD on notice that Congress is watching its cloud procurement closely and expects a multi-cloud solution.

The committee noted that other agencies are pursuing the multiple vendor cloud strategy recommended by OMB under the “Cloud Smart” strategy.  Most notably, according to the DOD appropriations bill report, the Central Intelligence Agency is now pursuing a multi-cloud approach for its new Commercial Cloud Enterprise procurement after six years under its single vendor Commercial Cloud Services contract. 

On May 16, 2019, Citizens Against Government Waste and four other organizations representing millions of members and supporters across the country sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Acting Director Russell Vought, stating, “From its inception, the JEDI proposal has been problematic.  With a potential expenditure of $10 billion over ten years, the proposal contains several gating criteria that severely restricted the number of potential providers and could in fact be written in a manner that predetermines an award to one contractor that currently meets the Defense Information Systems Agency Impact Level 6.” 

The individual services have already made it clear they are not in favor of a single vendor to transition their information technology 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.

The Appropriations Committee deserves credit for recognizing the need for a multi-cloud solution for DOD.  The Department should respond quickly to ensure it follows these clear and strong recommendations.