What is LPTA?

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National Archives photo, released

LPTA or Lowest Price Technically Acceptable has long been a source selection process favored by procurement officials. Starting out LPTA was a reaction to budget reductions and sequestration. It has since been implemented as a cost cutting measure. The LPTA selection process has been controversial within industry, and with good reason. Is using LPTA as selection really the best way for procurement officials to get the best price and the best work? Do we all remember the phrase “you get what you pay for”?

In this face paced, technical world we need the best performance we can get. Yes budget is a huge eliminating factor when looking into bids but the practice of LPTA takes away any balance between the two and focuses on just prices. The use of LPTA may be acceptable for particular bids, depending on the work needed. For instance LPTA as a selection process for non-technical services or commodity bid may be appropriate, and serve as an effective way to cut costs. However for technical services or solution bids, you’ll want the smartest most capable individuals working on your project; that increased performance creates additional value.

The LPTA selection process has been controversial within industry, and with good reason. Is using LPTA as selection really the best way for procurement officials to get the best price and the best work?Let’s think of it this way, you could have contractors who do their best every day or have contractors that do the bare minimum everyday because that’s what they’re being paid for.

When dealing with government the consequences of failure can be hugely detrimental if IT service and solution bids aren’t being handled with the best of care. While LPTA may save some money one the front end, think of how much it will save you in the long run by preventing huge failures.

Lindy Kyzer is the editor of ClearanceJobs.com. She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email lindy.kyzer@clearancejobs.com. Interested in writing for ClearanceJobs.com? Learn more here.

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