House appropriators are seeking to block funding for the Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud project until the department details a plan for eventually transitioning the program from a single vendor to a multi-cloud approach.
Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee released the full report of their proposed fiscal year 2020 budget on Monday detailing concern the 10-year JEDI effort will result in vendor lock-in and defies best practices for cloud computing implemented at other federal agencies.
“The committee continues to be concerned with this approach given the rapid pace of innovation in the industry and that this approach may lock the Department of Defense into a single provider for potentially as long as ten years,” lawmakers wrote in their report.
JEDI has faced pushback from Congress and industry over its single vendor contract structure, as well as a series of protests and delays, including an investigation into DoD official’s potential conflicts of interests with the project.
DoD officials announced in April the investigation found no wrongdoing while noting that potential ethical violations have been referred to the department’s inspector general (Defense Daily, April 11).
The Pentagon has also determined that Amazon [AMZN] Web Services and Microsoft [MSFT] are the only two vendors capable of meeting the minimum requirements for JEDI, with a contract award expected in mid-July.
House appropriators want the the DoD chief information officer to deliver a report to Congress detailing the specific contract opportunities that would transition JEDI from a single-cloud program to a multi-vendor effort.
The report is expected to include the competition structure for each contract, expected timelines, and estimated award values.
Lawmakers also noted that JEDI deviates from the Office of Management and Budget’s “Cloud Smart” strategy for federal agencies to adopt a multi-cloud approach.
“The committee believes that the Department of Defense is deviating from established OMB policy and industry best practices, and may be failing to implement a strategy that lowers costs and fully supports data innovation for the warfighter,” lawmakers wrote.
The report notes the CIA’s decision to go with a multi-vendor approach for its latest cloud procurement, citing a need to “increase access to cloud innovation and reduce the disadvantages associated with using a single cloud service provider.”
“The committee encourages the Department of Defense to adopt lessons learned from the CIA’s experience implementing cloud computing over the past five years,” lawmakers wrote.