The Pentagon may choose to dump the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract if a judge agrees to hear arguments from Amazon Web Services about political interference. It would mean two years down the drain for the Department’s most important cloud computing contract.
“The rumors on the street are that that’s under strong consideration,” former federal chief information officer Tony Scott told “Government Matters” Tuesday.
Scott said he thinks it would make sense, pointing to the contractor requirement that is almost four years old at this point, as well as “the practical realization that if you find yourself riding a dead horse, best to dismount and start over.”
Scott believes the lessons DoD has learned so far would make the procurement process much easier this time around. One of these lessons revolves around navigating a procurement process with a lot of outside influences.
“They could also set up an independent, external panel to help … vet potential applicants and that kind of thing,” Scott added.
The most important thing is to take advantage of all the developments that have happened in the past three to four years, Scott said.
Scott said the best way to create a contract that meets the needs of today as well as five to 10 years from now is through competition. “If you have multiple vendors, you can take advantage of innovation that each of them might develop; it could be two, it could be three … but you really want to be able to take advantage of R&D that happens in the marketplace, developments in technology, and it’s not going to be even across all suppliers,” said Scott.
Scott also said if he were in charge, he would look around and see what other capabilities he could leverage to prevent further delays. “But it doesn’t mean that I would abandon the notion of redoing it,” he said, “and maybe bringing in some of the other things that have come along since then and wrapping it up in a larger deal.”