Articles tagged with : LPTA

The challenging search for good procurement practices

Washington Technology Article

A year ago, headlines were all about IT procurement reform, with Congress threatening to impose new rules on government that promised to increase effectiveness and improve results. This quickly gave way to more sage advice arguing that what we needed was not procurement reform, but instead, continual and incremental improvements in procurement processes and adoption of best procurement practices. Today, I see little evidence that the government procurement market is converging on the best IT procurement practices. Instead, agencies appear to be adopting diverse strategies focusing on finding expedient, protest-resistant procurement solutions rather than focusing on enhancing mission outcomes. Many of these practices are gaining market share, but may fall short of achieving long-term mission objectives and have unintended outcomes that ultimately may prove disadvantageous to both government and industry. Let me give you some examples. GSA GWACS Both OASIS and the upcoming Alliant II large and small business procurements...

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Is DOD moving away from LPTA?

How long will it take to trickle down?

Industry has long objected to the use of lowest priced, technically acceptable (LPTA) procurement strategies for technical/professional services and complex solution procurements, and it now appears that DOD is moving away from this practice. Narrowing the use of LPTA Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, issued a memorandum on March 4 to clear up confusion about when LPTA is appropriate as a source selection process. His memo states LPTA “has a clear, but limited place in the source selection best value continuum” and narrowly defines when LPTA is appropriate for DOD procurements. This memo signals a shift away from the LPTA source selection process. Download a copy of Kendall’s memo titled, “Appropriate Use of Lowest Priced, Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process and Contract Type.” According to Kendall, LPTA should only be used when procurements meet four specific conditions: The requirements are well defined; The risk...

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Let’s stop bashing LPTA and find an alternative

One of the things I dislike most about lowest priced, technically acceptable (LPTA) procurements is that they are so misaligned with the values we have grown up with as government contractors. No matter how hard I try, I just cannot get excited about writing a proposal where the objective is to provide the minimally acceptable technical solution—a solution that just squeaks by the technical evaluators—instead of one that dazzles them by striving for outstanding performance and showcases good ideas and innovations. I was brought up in an industry that prided itself on striving to be the best, and not one that sought to deliver minimally acceptable work to the government. I’m not alone in this belief. In the 2014 Washington Technology Insider Report on LPTA procurements, 89% of industry and government responded that they were opposed to the use of LPTA for services procurements. Additionally, this view is shared by...

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Is the government starting to hate LPTA too?

I was surprised (and relieved) to learn that government proposal evaluators are pushing back on the use of lowest price, technically acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria—and for good reason. They are now learning that this evaluation criteria can limit their ability to exercise reasonable judgment in the evaluation process and may result in contracts awarded to companies that are clearly inferior and have less-qualified offerings compared to others in the competition. Here are two instances where the use of LPTA evaluation criteria backfired on the government decision-makers. Superior value versus price Best-value solicitations frequently state that as technical scores converge and there is little technical difference between bidders, price will become the determining factor in an award decision. Conversely, when price converges and there is little price difference between bidders, the award decision would rationally be made based on the merits of the offeror’s non-cost factors (technical approach, offeror experience, management...

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