Government Contracts attorneys Eric Crusius and Mary Beth Bosco shared their insights with Law360 on the Department of Defense's (DoD) proposed new rules imposing controls on the use of the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection process.
Despite the fact that the use of LPTA has steadily increased over the last decade for being a streamlined evaluation mechanism, it has also drawn considerable criticism from both industry and government over the past few years. Much of the critique centers around how LPTA "handcuffs" government agencies and obligates them to select the lowest-priced vendor even if a better solution is available for a nominal additional cost. This means that the government is often not getting the best possible solution—whether that is the latest software or hardware, the most effective cybersecurity fix, or the most talented or knowledgeable subject matter expertise—when procuring goods and services via LPTA.
Hence why earlier this month, the DoD issued proposed regulations that mirror the provisions of 2017 and 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limit and prohibit how LPTA can be used. Effectively, LPTA would be reserved mainly for commodity-type contracts, as opposed to service contracts. Comments on the new rules are due Feb. 4, 2019.
READ: New DoD Proposal Should Improve Vendor Selection (Subscription required)
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