IT leaders know all too well that procuring new solutions and technology can be a slow process. In the past, lowest price, technically acceptable (LPTA) procurement decisions that require vendors to meet minimal requirements and often come down to the best price, were used by agencies to gain new solutions faster. As the use of the process continued, clear risks to innovation and complexity began to arise. With that, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act imposed requirements on the Department of Defense that limited the use of LPTA. Instead of relying on LPTA, agencies can look to best value tradeoff procurements to deliver on the mission.
“Best value tradeoffs balance the cost or price with other factors,” said Rodney Perry, Public Sector Counsel with Verizon. “Agencies that use best value tradeoffs can better ensure they are working with a vetted, trusted vendor.”
LPTA should be reserved for the simplest procurements, explained Mike Maiorana, VP Federal with Verizon, and for good reason. “LPTA could lead the government to procure inadequate technologies or select an inexperienced vendor. The technology needs of the government are often far too complex to rely on the least-expensive off-the-shelf services.” By using best value, the government ensures they are working with vendors that not only provide the technology needed for the moment but can evolve and modernize when needed.
Best value tradeoffs better support timely mission delivery said Perry. With best value tradeoffs, proven vendors alleviate challenges with performance, regulations, and operational requirements. “Avoiding potential performance issues with inexperienced vendors is easier when best value tradeoff is being leveraged,” said Perry. “Agencies are more likely to select an offer from a proven vendor with a proven solution who can hit the ground running.”
When choosing LPTA, agencies could face service issues, mission delays, and difficulties in delivering operational support. “The best value tradeoff is preferred with the ability to effectively implement, support, and modernize,” shared Maiorana.
“Agencies should look for best value partners that have longstanding successful performance, experience with similar customers, and solutions backed by the financial foundation to deliver on the promise of their service,” Maiorana said.
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