For government contractors frustrated by Federal agencies’ use of Lowest-Price Technically-Acceptable solicitations on complex services contracts – help may be on the way.
As I’ve discussed before, LPTA procurements can have a chilling effect on contractors that are able to provide increased technical benefits to the government – but at an increased price. LPTA solicitations encourage contractors to get as lean as possible – focusing on price and only minimum technical competency.
A Bill currently before the U.S. House of Representatives proposes to limit the use of LPTA and leave it to the agency to weigh the “benefits of cost and technical tradeoffs in the source selection process.” In other words, a Best Value Tradeoff approach.
If passed into law, the Bill would appear to been a boon for highly-skilled contractors capable of providing Federal agencies with great value at an increased (but still reasonable) price. The Bill specifically earmarks certain industries where Best Value solicitations would take precedence over LPTA contracting:
- Information technology services, cybersecurity services, systems engineering and technical assistance services, advanced electronic testing, audit or audit readiness services, or other knowledge-based professional services;
- Personal protective equipment; and
- Knowledge-based training or logistics services in contingency operations or other operations outside the United States, including in Afghanistan or Iraq.
I will continue to track the progress of this Bill as makes it way towards becoming law. It should certainly be on the radar for Department of Defense contractors providing any of the broad range of services outlined above.