Bill Seeks to Limit Improper LPTA Use
Although Lowest-Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements are conducted as part of the “best value” continuum, nothing seems to get the ire of industry up more than LPTA procurements, and the government’s seemingly ever-increasing use of the LPTA method. Help may be on the way to curb the use of improper LPTA procurements in civilian departments. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 already placed restrictions on use of LPTA procurements by the Department of Defense for procuring knowledge-based services.
Representative Mark Meadows introduced the “Promoting Value Based Procurement Act of 2017,” June 22, 2017. The Bill, H.R. 3019, currently has three co-sponsors, all representatives from the Federal contractor-saturated Congressional Districts in Northern Virginia.
H.R. 3019 would amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) requiring Federal civilian departments and agencies to take additional steps when conducting LPTA procurements.
If enacted, H.R. 3019 will require Federal civilian departments and agencies, when it comes to an LPTA procurement, civilian agencies must:
- Describe the agency’s minimum requirements in terms of performance objectives, measures and standards to determine acceptability of LPTA offers.
- Articulate in solicitations there is no value in offering items/services which will exceed the technical and performance requirements.
- Require solicitation language stating technical approaches will require no subjective judgment by the source selection authority for one LPTA proposal over another.
- Require source selection authorities reviewing technical proposals have high confidence offers other than the lowest-priced offer would not result in the identifying factors which provide value or benefit to the contracting agency.
- Contracting officers must also document the contract file with a justification for use of the LPTA evaluation methodology.
- Determine use of LPTA reflects full life-cycle costs, to include costs for operation and support.
H.R. 3019 restricts use of LPTA for IT services, cybersecurity services, advanced electronic testing, systems engineering and technical assistance services, and other similar “knowledge-based” professional services. Restrictions also apply to the use of LPTA procurement strategies for acquiring personal protective equipment, and knowledge-based training or logistics services in support of overseas contingency operations.
H.R. 3019 was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. There is no related bill in the Senate at this time.