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Defense Contracting: Factors DoD Considers When Choosing Best Value Processes are Consistent with Guidance for Selected Acquisitions


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Why GAO Did This Study. DOD obligated about $310 billion in fiscal year 2013 for products and services needed to support its mission. To competitively acquire what is needed, DOD may use best value processes - including tradeoff and LPTA - to evaluate vendors' proposals. When using the tradeoff process, DOD weighs the relative importance of price against non-cost factors. By contrast, DOD may use the LPTA process and award the contract based on lowest price once technical requirements are met. Congress mandated GAO to review DOD's use of best value processes. GAO identified, among other things, (1) the extent to which DOD used best value processes in fiscal year 2013, (2) the factors DOD considers when choosing a source selection process, and (3) training DOD provides to its acquisition personnel on source selection processes. GAO identified and reviewed solicitations for a projectable sample of 183 contracts out of 2,851 new, competitively awarded contracts that DOD awarded in fiscal year 2013 with obligations over $1 million. GAO also reviewed DOD and military departments' guidance regarding their use of the best value process. GAO selected 16 contracts for case studies based on military department, best value process used, and other factors. GAO reviewed contract documents and interviewed program and contracting officials for these case studies. GAO also reviewed DAU and military departments' training on source selection procedures.



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