Is the federal government moving away from lowest price, technically acceptable (LPTA) procurements? Contractors that are in the people business can only hope so.
When I say “people” business, I mean providing the government with people who exceed expectations in delivering operations, technology and facilities management services. In LPTA procurements, competitions in which the government selects the lowest-priced proposal that meets a minimum set of technical requirements, contractors are not rewarded, or even encouraged, for exceeding these minimum standards. This approach is not compatible with a corporate philosophy that stresses excellence in service delivery by people who are best qualified to do the job.
On March 4, 2015, Frank Kendall, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology, and logistics, issued a memorandum detailing the role that LPTA procurements should play in the Defense Department’s acquisition process. According to the Kendall memorandum, use of LPTA is appropriate “only when there are well-defined requirements, the risk of unsuccessful contract performance is minimal, price is a significant factor in the source selection, and there is neither value, need, nor willingness to pay for higher performance.”
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