Bradley attorney Aron Beezley was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the court’s decision to dismiss Oracle’s protest against Amazon in a competition for the $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project. A Department of Defense employee violated federal rules by hiding his efforts to return to his former employer, Amazon.com Inc., while helping to develop specifications for a cloud-services network that Amazon was bidding on to operate. Despite those findings, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge dismissed Oracle Corp.’s argument that Amazon should be disqualified for conflict-of-interest reasons. Ultimately, a contracting officer found that the employee didn’t have useful information to offer Amazon, and the conflict didn’t prejudice Oracle. The court ruled in agreement with the officer and dismissed Oracle as a competitor for the project.
The court’s opinion didn’t reduce incentives to comply with contract ethics rules, said Beezley.
“The vast majority of contractors and government officials are ethical and do not need significant deterrents. However, for the select few that actually need significant deterrents to cause them to behave ethically, an IG investigation—and the potential repercussions associated with such an investigation—may, indeed, be a sufficient deterrent,” he said.
The complete article, “Oracle’s Loss Makes Conflict Protests Seem ‘Nigh Impossible,’” first appeared in Bloomberg Law on August 1, 2019.