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Defense Contracting: DOD's Use of Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Procedures to Acquire Selected Services


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DOD obligated about $300 billion through contracts for goods and services in fiscal year 2016. When awarding a contract competitively, DOD may use the LPTA source selection process to select the lowest priced offer that is technically acceptable. In contrast, DOD may use the trade-off source selection process to award a higher-priced contract to a firm if the firm's offer provides greater benefit and it is worth paying the additional cost. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 calls on DOD to avoid using the LPTA process for information technology, cybersecurity, and other knowledge based professional support services. The Act also included a provision for GAO to report on DOD's use of LPTA procedures for contracts valued at more than $10 million. This report assesses the (1) extent to which DOD used LPTA procedures for certain services, and (2) factors that contracting officials considered when deciding to use LPTA procedures. GAO reviewed data from the Federal Procurement Data System-Next Generation to identify 781 contracts valued at $10 million or above awarded by the Army, Navy, and Air Force in the first half of fiscal year 2017, the most recent period for which data were available. GAO then selected 133 of these contracts for information technology and support services, which include services reflected in the Act. GAO identified that 9 contracts used LPTA procedures and reviewed 7 of these, including interviewing officials and reviewing contract documents.



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