Vendors are on edge and growing more nervous about the state of the federal acquisition environment. Blame sequestration. Blame the government shutdown. But the real culprit is LPTA — lowest price, technically acceptable — an approach to evaluating procurements that is changing the federal acquisition landscape.
And all signs point to agencies continuing to use this approach in the coming years to buy goods and services, thus forcing federal contractors to have no choice but to adjust.
“We have to accept lowest price may just be best value for the government customer,” said Lisa Dezzutti, president and CEO of Market Connections, during a briefing to industry on new research and a new survey of how LPTA is impacting the government market. “We have to pursue new and lower cost business models.”
Lowest price technically acceptable is not really a new concept when it comes to acquisition evaluations, but it has been gaining favor among agencies, specifically the Defense Department over the last few years. Through its Better Buying initiative, DoD has offered LPTA as one of several approaches to improve how they buy goods and services.
Now it seems civilian agencies are following suit. Centurion Research Solutions analyzed more than $27 billion in procurements and found the Veterans Affairs Department is the biggest user of LPTA among non-DoD agencies.
Within DoD, the Army, Air Force and Navy use this concept the most.
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