In a recent decision, GAO sustained a protest arguing that the agency had actually converted a best-value tradeoff procurement into a lowest-priced, technically acceptable competition. GAO held that the agency had not properly followed the evaluation criteria.Continue reading
Lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection has been on the decline lately. A recent final rule from the FAR Council, effective February 16, 2021, continues this trend. In the rule, the FAR Council implemented additional restrictions on the use of LPTA for non-DoD contracts.Continue reading
Over the last few years, SmallGovCon has covered the Congressionally-mandated march away from use of lowest-price technically-acceptable procurements at the Department of Defense. But although Congress has restricted when DOD might use LPTA criteria, the Department has not followed this mandate.
A recent GAO report highlights DOD’s struggle. As of September 2018, DOD has not yet revised its regulations to reflect certain statutory restrictions against LPTA awards and, as a result, DOD contracting officers believe they are not yet required to follow these new requirements.
Candidly, I’m not so sure. But in any event, GAO’s report issued a couple of recommendations to help DOD fully implement the restrictions against LPTA procurements.
Let’s take a look.
An agency was not required to evaluate past performance under an SDVOSB set-aside solicitation that contemplated making award to the lowest-price, technically-acceptable offeror.
According to a recent GAO bid protest decision, a past performance evaluation in the context of an LPTA set-aside is essentially duplicative of the agency’s evaluation of responsibility, meaning that a separate past performance evaluation isn’t necessary.
In 2017, Congress placed limits on the utilization of Lowest-Price Technically-Acceptable procurement procedures in Department of Defense acquisitions.
The 2018 National Defense Authorization Act continues this trend by completely prohibiting the use of LPTA procedures for certain major defense acquisition programs.