LPTA Versus Tradeoff: How Procurement Methods Can Impact Contract Performance
Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States
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Early in the procurement planning process, the acquisition team determines the method of proposal evaluations that will be used during source selections. The most frequently used methods are lowest price technically acceptable LPTA and tradeoff. LPTA is typically used when requirements are well-defined and participants in the evaluation have sufficient knowledge to confidently choose a technically acceptable proposal. Conversely, tradeoff-based evaluations are employed when the evaluators are not as certain about the requirements and utilize non-cost factors to negotiate with offerors. For requiring offices, LPTA can be an easier method if the requirements are well-defined and commercially available, but they may find performance and deliverables after award to be acceptable rather than outstanding. Those using a tradeoff method may find that, by clearly defining expectations during negotiations, offerors are better able to deliver on the expectations of the acquisition team and the customer. The goal of this project is to determine whether or not there is a relationship in U.S. Army contracts between the method of procurement LPTA versus tradeoff source selection methods and the quality of the contract outcomes, to be measured by evaluation of Contract Performance Assessment Reports System reports.