Judge lifts stay in JEDI protest, says award won’t come before July 19 and improving federal solicitations’ ‘scary low’ Section 508 accessibility compliance. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for April 19, 2019.
The Court of Federal Claims judge overseeing Oracle’s protest of the Pentagon’s $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract lifted the stay on the case, which had halted proceedings since February. Judge Eric Bruggink issued the order this week, also detailing a new proposed schedule that forbids the Department of Defense (DOD) from awarding JEDI no sooner than July 19. Oracle is expected to continue protesting DOD’s plan to award JEDI to a single cloud provider. If Bruggink were to rule in favor of Oracle on one of the other parts of its complaint, the court could compel DOD to revise its acquisition strategy—potentially reopening the door for cloud providers to rebid on the contract with less stringent requirements.
Vendors have until April 29 to submit their bids for half of the General Services Administration’s (GSA) CIO Modernization and Enterprise Transformation (COMET) contract. COMET is a recompete of GSA’S CAMEO contract that supports the main IT environment at the Federal Acquisition Service, which encompasses the GSA Global Supply, multiple award schedules, personal property management, travel, fleet, purchase card services, and integrated technology programs.
The General Services Administration’s (GSA) new, AI-enabled Solicitation Review Tool (SRT) is scheduled to launch before the end of the fiscal year, said Marina Fox, DotGov domain services manager. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act requires electronic and IT procured by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities in the U.S. Every federal agency has its own process for writing solicitations and oftentimes Section 508 is an afterthought. So at the suggestion of a data scientist on staff, GSA started work on the open-source AI tool. GSA has already been contacted by several teams, including FedRAMP, about using SRT, Fox said. SRT version 2.0 will make use of AI neural networks to offer suggestions for fixing solicitations in the tool itself.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont announced a series of proposals aimed at reducing redundancies in the state’s procurement processes and making government services increasingly digitized. These initiatives come a few weeks after Lamont’s office issued a budget proposal vowing to make Connecticut the first “all-digital government.” Several of the proposals involve reducing the number of forms businesses seeking contracts with the state government have to complete to bid on projects and moving more of the solicitation process online through an updated procurement portal.