The House Appropriations Committee’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee last week approved an FY2020 defense spending bill that would withhold funding for the Defense Department to move applications to the proposed Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud until the DoD CIO reports to Congress on how the department plans to create a multicloud environment.
The bill, which was approved by the subcommittee May 15 by voice vote, makes clear Congress’ concerns about the 10-year, single-award, $10 billion JEDI contract, particularly in the area of vendor lock-in. The full Appropriations Committee released a draft version of the bill that details worries about the length of the contract.
“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,” the bill states.
The legislation cites recent moves by the Central Intelligence Agency – which is pursuing a multi-vendor follow-on to its single-vendor Commercial Cloud Services contract – and the Cloud Smart policy from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as examples of the importance of 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,” the bill states.
The bill would require the DoD CIO to report on the plan for a multivendor environment, including a list of specific opportunities over the next two years, with their cost, purpose and structure included. The bill would also require the CIO to submit quarterly reports on the implementation of DoD’s cloud strategy to the House and Senate Appropriations committees.
While the bill indicates some concern from Congress, it also remains a fair distance from becoming law. The bill is currently awaiting approval from the full House Appropriations Committee, and has yet to reach the Senate. While House committee members did not comment specifically on the JEDI provision, the bill appears to have the support of committee leadership.
“The world becomes more dangerous each day, and we must be united to ensure our armed services have the equipment, training, and resources to succeed at every level,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the committee, speaking about the bill’s approval by the subcommittee.
The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment by publication time.