Results of Lowest-Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) Contracts to be Reported in 2017

August 3, 2016

Congress Wants Details on Pentagon’s LPTA Contracts

Source: GovTech Works, Tobias Naegele, July 13, 2016

Congress wants the Defense Department to shed more light on how it’s using lowest-price, technically acceptable (LPTA) contracts – and to report back by March 1, 2017, with the results. The measure is included in both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization bill.

The House Armed Services Committee’s report on the bill says “anecdotal examples suggest … widespread over-use of LPTA processes and contracts,” with potentially “substantial unintended consequences.”

The measure, which was cheered by the Professional Services Council (PSC) and other industry groups, would require DoD to survey contracting officers to determine how well they understand official policy guidance and to compile data on how often and for what kinds of products and services LPTA was used in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

Pulling such data will be difficult; budget analysts say it’s almost impossible to get an accurate count without actually reading the acquisition documents. But the focus that it could bring will be helpful, said Alan Chvotkin, executive vice president and counsel at PSC.

“What we lack today is data about how extensive LPTA is actually being used in the federal government or by the Department of Defense,” Chvotkin said. “This is an attempt to try to document how extensive it’s being used, by whom and for what procurements, in order to help inform future policy.” The trouble is, government reporting systems do not capture all uses of LPTA. So he’s not expecting the data to be perfect, but it’s a start.


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