The Pentagon says it could opt for a fresh start on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract. For the Defense Department to get the cloud services it wants, the agency may take a new procurement approach.
To avoid getting caught up in another two-year protest cycle, there are things the Department could do differently this time around. “It … would be beneficial to maybe look at a multiple-award contract and then issue the task orders as appropriate,” suggested Joe Jordan, CEO of Actuparo and former administrator of federal procurement policy.
Jordan said it would be possible for DoD to streamline the process by looking at existing options. “There are already dozens and dozens of DoD clouds and cloud projects out there with a whole host of different vendors,” he said. “There’s no reason they can’t be expanded to address this critical, unmet need that DoD has.”
Jordan said PR and branding issues have gotten in the way of efficiency with the JEDI contract.
“I would say 75+ percent that they either scrap or modify to such an extent that it’s a distinction without a difference, saying they’re scrapping or revising the JEDI contract, and just go with other solutions that are easier, and not keep on this current path,” said Jordan.
As far as the timeline, Jordan said he thinks DoD will wait to see what the first ruling from the Court of Federal Claims says, which could be weeks or months away. “And then, I could see, based on that, DoD pretty quickly using it as appropriate cover for, hey – we’re moving to a different solution.”
“Everybody’s back is up, and emotions are very strong on this … and that’s understandable,” Jordan added.
If DoD does go in a different direction with this, Jordan’s advice to these companies would be to “lower the temperature, understand how hard it must be to be in these program and CIO offices within the Pentagon having worked on this for half a decade only to see it all tossed out, and really volunteer as many non-self serving solutions as possible.”