Government Contracts Court of Federal Claims Enjoins Proceeding with JEDI Contract
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Monday, April 6, 2020

Court of Federal Claims Enjoins Proceeding with JEDI Contract

By Government Contracts Editorial Staff

Granting a preliminary injunction against the government proceeding with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure contract, the Court of Federal Claims found the protester was likely to show the government erred in evaluating one of the awardee's price scenarios, and the balance of equitable factors favored relief. The JEDI solicitation required offerors to propose prices for their “Containerized Data Analysis Framework,” and a solicitation amendment instructed offerors to “[a]ssume that all data in these price scenarios is highly accessible unless otherwise stated.” The solicitation also referred to storage options in terms of accessibility—it defined online storage as immediately accessible without human intervention, and nearline storage as “not immediately available, but can be brought online quickly without human intervention.” The government also issued a clarification that “highly accessible” meant online and replicated storage. The protester asserted the awardee's proposed price scenario, which did not offer online storage, failed to comply with the requirement that storage be “highly accessible.”

“Highly Accessible” Storage. The court rejected the government's arguments that features of the awardee's proposal amounted to immediate access, and the technical evaluation board's determination the awardee's proposal was technically feasible was within the government's discretion. The record did not show the evaluation included a determination the awardee's proposal was equivalent to immediate access or that the “technically feasible” conclusion resulted from an exercise of discretion. The government also failed to explain how its discretion could depart from the solicitation's precise and explicit definition of “highly accessible.” In addition, the record appeared unlikely to support the government's argument that the protester's proposal suffered from the same deficiency.

Balance of Factors. In granting injunctive relief, the court concluded the protester's 90-day delay in seeking relief, the national security implications of the protest, and the costs of delay were outweighed by the protester's likelihood of success on the merits, the irreparable harm the protester would suffer without relief, the government's ability to continue current cloud computing solutions, the public interest in the integrity of the procurement process, and a requirement for the protester to provide security of $42 million to cover costs and damages if the injunction was issued wrongfully. (Amazon Web Services, Inc. v. U.S., et al., FedCl, 64 CCF ¶81,868)

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