What are the decision factors in determining whether you should use a LPTA or Best Value contract review? Could you address this from a CO and COR vantage points?
The concept of best value is the essence of source selection. Agencies can obtain best value in negotiated acquisitions by using one or a combination of source selection approaches. For different acquisitions, relative importance of cost/price can vary. At one end of the best value continuum you have Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA), at the other end is the trade off process. Ultimately the contracting officer will have to make a judgment on which approach to use but the following information may help.
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LPTA is appropriate when the requirement is not complex, and technical and performance risks are minimal. The government team is able to establish a standard that meets their needs and is there is no advantage to the Government for exceeding those standards. In other words, no additional "credit" for exceeding established standards. When using LPTA:
Make sure evaluation factors/significant sub factors set forth in solicitation.
Solicitation must specify that award will be made on the basis of lowest evaluated price.
Proposals will be evaluated for acceptability but not ranked using non-cost/price factors.
The tradeoff process is appropriate when it's in the Government's best interest to consider award to other than lowest priced or highest technically rated offeror. When using the tradeoff process evaluation factors and significant sub factors that affect contract award, and the relative importance, must be clearly stated in the solicitation. Tradeoffs among cost or price and non-cost factors permit the Government to accept other than the lowest priced proposal for award.
Based on the above, the Contracting Officer will need to examine if the Government team requires the flexibility of using a tradeoff approach versus the LPTA. Also note that DoD, on Mar 4 of this year released its new procedures for source selection that will be effective 1 July 2011 for all FAR 15 efforts. Because we don't have all the facts pertaining to your contract, we cannot make a specific recommendation. We highly recommend you consult with the Contracting Officer as well as the legal office if required.