An agency has been caught creating fake source selection documents to pad its file in response to several GAO bid protests.
A recent GAO bid protest decision shows that, after award, the agency created new source selection documents and revised others, then pretended those documents had been part of the contemporaneous source selection file. And although the agency’s conduct resulted in the cancellation of a major procurement, it’s not clear whether the agency employees who created the fake documents will face any punishment.
The 2017 NDAA is full of important changes that will affect federal contracting going forward. As Steve wrote about earlier this week, some of these changes relate to government contracting programs (like the SDVOSB program). Still others relate to how the government actually procures goods and services.
One of these important changes severely limits the use of lowest-price technically-acceptable (“LPTA”) evaluations in Department of Defense procurements. Following the change, “best value” tradeoffs will be prioritized for DoD acquisitions. This post will briefly examine when LPTA procurements will and won’t be allowed under the 2017 NDAA.
In a best value tradeoff evaluation, a procuring agency must consider the benefits of a lower-cost proposal, even if that proposal’s cost is not as close to the agency’s internal cost estimate as a higher-priced proposal.
As demonstrated by a recent GAO bid protest decision, it is improper in a tradeoff analysis for an agency to refuse to consider the relative benefits of paying a lower cost for a lower-rated proposal.
I often caution would-be bid protesters that when it comes to “best value” procurements, the GAO gives agencies wide discretion to pay a price premium for a proposal evaluated as superior.
Case in point: a recent bid protest decision in which the GAO upheld the procuring agency’s decision to pay a whopping 72.6% price premium.