The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit appears to be asking the Department of Defense to review its controversial $10 billion cloud computing service contract, according tomedia reports. Earlier, Oracle filed a lawsuit alleging that the terms of the contract were unfair and excluded qualified competitors. In a court argument Wednesday local time, the Defense Department denied Oracle’s claims because it was inanycaseally ineligible for the contract. The judge did not endorse the Defense Department’s debate and raised questions.
The contract is designed to help the Department of Defense improve cloud technology to enhance the transfer of information between its military agencies around the world. In October, the Defense Department awarded the contract to Microsoft, and Oracle was excluded from the bid.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s ruling in Oracle’s favor could force the Pentagon to either re-evaluate its bids or re-bid for suppliers such as Oracle, Amazon and IBM.
The court is reviewing the July 2019 decision. The ruling at the time said that while the Defense Department had made an error, it was not important because Oracle did not meet the minimum standards for bidding. He also said that while there were allegations of a relationship between the Then Ministry of Defense employee and Amazon and “enough to cause resentment”, it did not give Amazon a competitive advantage.
The Government Accountability Office and the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, part of Congress, believe that the Ministry of Defence’s tender for the contract complies with applicable laws and procurement standards.
The Department of Defense requires qualified bidders to have three data centers, at least 150 miles apart, and to obtain security authorization from FedRAMP, the federal security review program. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals challenged the Defense Department’s request.
Oracle argues that this minimum requirement limits competition because the Defense Department knew at the time that only Microsoft and Amazon met the standard. Craig Holman, oracle’s lawyer, told the court on Wednesday that the company now met that standard.
In November, AWS, Amazon’s cloud computing service, took the Defense Department to court. Claims that the Defense Department failed to implement the contract bid fairly because President Trump called Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a “political foe.”
In April, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals suspended Amazon’s proceedings, allowing the Defense Department 120 days to “re-examine” the questions about the contract.