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    Can a technical evaluation be scored using a point system? How else could you determine a contractor technically acceptable.


    Answer

    This is a very timely question, as DoD is about to publish new DoD-wide procedures for conducting source selections. The document, entitled "Source Selection Procedures," is designed to provide standardized methods for all DoD source selections. The final version is expected to be published in early 2011 (I would expect between January and March). With that in mind, I recommend following the draft guidance on the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) method shown in Appendix A of the latest version of the document. Specifically:

    "Once the minimum requirements are established, the team shall evaluate the offeror’s proposal against these requirements to determine whether the proposal is acceptable or unacceptable, using the ratings and descriptions outlined in Table A-1:

    Acceptable: Proposal clearly meets the minimum requirements of the solicitation.
    Unacceptable: Proposal does not clearly meet the minimum requirements of the solicitation."

    If there are 25 submittal requirements, I would expect that an offer considered to be "technically acceptable" would have to meet all 25 requirements; not just some or most. The problem with the point system you suggest is that it has an arbitrary overall "pass" score of 85, which almost has an element of "best value" to it. In fact, I would question whether all 25 submittals are really needed if, according the evaluation system you are proposing, a technically acceptable proposal could conceivably have to earn the full five points on only 17 of the 25 submittals (for the 85 point total). To avoid this and any other problems associated with an LPTA source selection, it would be best to comply with the forthcoming DoD method for LPTA evaluations shown above by establishing the minimum technical factors that any successful offeror must meet, and clearly documenting the contract file with the rationale for how each offeror either met of did not meet each of those technical factors.

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