The following is a statement from Ralph O. White, Managing Associate General Counsel for Procurement Law at GAO, regarding today’s decision resolving the protest filed by Oracle America, Inc., B‑416657 et al., Nov. 14, 2018.
On Nov. 14, 2018, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) denied a protest filed by Oracle America, Inc. (Oracle), of Reston, Virginia, challenging the terms of a request for proposals (FRP) issued by the Department of Defense to obtain comprehensive cloud computing services. The procurement is generally referred to as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) Cloud procurement. The RFP was issued on July 26 seeking proposals for a single-award indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract to provide various commercial cloud services, including infrastructure as a service, and platform as a service, in both classified and unclassified environments. The RFP anticipates that this single-award contract will have a maximum value of $10 billion, over a potential 10-year performance period, if all options are exercised.
In its protest, Oracle argues that: (1) the RFP provisions leading to a single-award IDIQ contract violate provisions of statute and regulation, which create a statutory preference for using multiple awards when establishing IDIQ contracts valued over $112 million; (2) the terms of the solicitation unduly restrict competition because they exceed the agency’s needs; and (3) the agency failed to properly consider potential conflicts of interest related to the procurement. GAO denied the protest in each of these areas.
With respect to the requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 2304a(d) (and the regulations that implement this statute), GAO’s decision concludes that the Defense Department’s decision to pursue a single-award approach to obtain these cloud services is consistent with applicable statutes (and regulations) because the agency reasonably determined that a single-award approach is in the government’s best interests for various reasons, including national security concerns, as the statute allows. GAO’s decision also concludes that the Defense Department provided reasonable support for all of the solicitation provisions that Oracle contended exceeded the agency’s needs. Finally, GAO’s decision concludes that the allegations regarding conflicts of interest do not provide a basis for sustaining Oracle’s protest.
Oracle filed its initial protest on August 8. The Defense Department received proposals in response to this RFP on October 12. On October 10, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), of Bethesda, Maryland, filed its own protest also challenging various aspects of the JEDI procurement. IBM’s protest has been assigned file number B-416657.5. Oracle’s and IBM’s protests could not be resolved concurrently; the statutory due date for IBM’s protest is January 18, 2019.
GAO’s bid protest process is handled by GAO’s Office of General Counsel and examines whether procuring agencies have complied with procurement laws and regulations. Today’s decision was issued under a protective order because the decision may contain proprietary and/or source selection sensitive information. GAO has directed counsel for the parties to promptly identify information that cannot be publicly released so that GAO can expeditiously prepare and release a public version of the decision. When the public version of the decision is available, it will be posted to our website, “www.gao.gov.”
For more information, please contact Ralph O. White at 202-512-8278, Kenneth E. Patton at 202-512-8205, or Chuck Young at 202-512-4800. More information about GAO’s Bid Protest process is also available on the GAO website.
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