Senate DOD Appropriations Bill Lacks House JEDI Guardrails | Citizens Against Government Waste

Senate DOD Appropriations Bill Lacks House JEDI Guardrails

The WasteWatcher

In the ongoing saga of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud services contract, the bill and report language for S. 2474, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2020 was filed by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) on September 12, 2019.  Unlike its House of Representatives counterpart, H.R. 2968, the Senate bill does not include much-needed guardrails on the JEDI contract.

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 JEDI request for proposal 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.”  As the individual DOD services and other agencies are pursuing a multi-vendor cloud strategy, as recommended by the Office of Management and Budget, the single-source, single-cloud JEDI contract is an unnecessary and potentially problematic exception to those rules, as well as standard industry practice in the private sector.

The committee report for H.R. 2968 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 if JEDI goes forward as a single cloud, Congress expects DOD to nonetheless move to a multi-cloud solution.  This would be similar to how the CIA moved from a single cloud to a multi-cloud solution, and also raises questions about why the taxpayers’ money should be spent on a single-source, single-cloud solution at all since it will not be DOD’s permanent cloud strategy.

The Senate should consider Including similar guardrails on the JEDI contract to help protect taxpayer interests, national security, and the nation’s warfighters.

 

 

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