Articles tagged with : Washington Technology

Is price reasonableness really unreasonable?

Washington Technology Article

With so many IT and professional services contracts being awarded to the lowest priced offeror, you have to wonder if the government is worried about awarding contracts to firms whose prices are unreasonably low. As it turns out, in many procurements the government does not look for unreasonably low prices, and in some instances, is prohibited from doing so. In these procurements, low price has no floor. The rules for examining price reasonableness and cost realism are complex and generally not well understood by capture and proposal professionals, so I thought I would point out some of the more interesting aspects of these rules about how low you can go... Download and read Bob's latest article. Email your comments to me at RLohfeld@LohfeldConsulting.com. By Bob Lohfeld This article was originally published December 15, 2014 in WashingtonTechnology.com.    

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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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Should we have procurement reform or just improvement?

It seems like everyone has been jumping on the procurement reform bandwagon this year and has been saying that the government’s procurement system is broken. While reforming government procurement is a lofty goal and resonates well in the halls of Congress, the practicality is that it is more of a pre-election battle cry than a reality. One organization, the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), has taken a different approach, stating that the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)—the rules that control government procurement—are fine and do not need to be overhauled. What is broken is the way the FAR is applied and interpreted in many government procurements. According to APMP in their just-released survey report, Closing the Procurement Execution Gap, most government and industry professionals strongly agree about what improvements need to be made and how they can be done without reforming the FAR. I hope that business development and capture managers...

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Why some companies embrace LPTA contracts

Lower barrier to entry means marginally credible firms have shot at winning procurements

Some companies are actively seeking lowest price, technically acceptable (LPTA) professional services bids—but they’re not the companies you’d think. You’d expect companies with deep experience in their fields that have honed their operating costs to the minimum and are operating at maximum efficiency to seek out LPTA bids where they could compete on price—but it is just the opposite. Inexperienced, marginally credible firms are finding LPTA procurements provide a unique opportunity to penetrate government market segments that they would otherwise have been unable to enter. Here’s how it works. LPTA lower the barrier to entry Under LPTA bids, the government awards contracts to offerors with minimally acceptable technical proposals rather than to offers with the best technical proposals as is normally done in best value trade-off procurements. In other words, the LPTA evaluation criteria provide no additional value to the market leader company over the market laggard company. To pass...

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