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Found 8 results

  1. In two recent cases, disappointed contractors protested when agencies failed to request clarifications or open discussions. Both Defense Base Services and Level 3 argued that the issues with their proposals could have been remedied if given the chance. GAO denied both offerors’ protests. Yet when Level 3 persisted at the COFC, the judge concluded that an agency’s failure to request clarifications constituted an abuse of discretion. The cases illustrate the difference in the way GAO and the COFC view clarifications and discussions, and shed insight for offerors under similar circumstances. Read the full article at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
  2. Sometimes the Government seeks the best overall value, and at times simply lowest cost. But even when low price is determinative, the bidder must still meet minimum technical qualifications. In a recent case, Level 3 Communications lost a major contract with the Dept. of Defense to Verizon, whose bid exceeded theirs by nearly $40 million. Level 3 was disqualified for what it thought were trivial reasons. When Level 3 protested, it got no relief from GAO, but the Court of Federal Claims came to their rescue. More at Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
  3. LPTA Question

    Can you use subjective criteria when conducting an Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) acquistion? For example, could one of the evaluation criteria in Section M be: Offeror's technical approach will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis. The technical approach will be evaluated to determine whether it is technically sufficient in that it provides an approach that will accomplish the tasks stated in the Performance Work Statement within the timeframe specified. As this acquisition is in the pre-solicitation phase I cannot really give any details as to the type of work being performed but suffice it to say that I would like the TEP to be able to review the proposals and evaluate them on a pass/fail basis using this criteria. My respected legal counsel states that this is too subjective and cannot be used for an LPTA approach. Thoughts?
  4. We recently lost on an LPTA proposal, and requested a debriefing. The procurement was the first of series of very similar procurements, each for a different geographical area. We got beat on price, and I have no doubt that our proposal was technically acceptable, but clearly somebody else had a lower priced technically acceptable offer. We asked that the KO go beyond the minimum for debriefings as prescribed in the FAR and conduct a meaningful debriefing by telephone. We specifically asked to discuss what constituted technically acceptable, especially the minimum necessary to be technically acceptable. We intended to apply the lessons learned in the remaining procurements. The response was not meaningful. It was a form letter that lined up with the FAR's minimum requirements. It did not touch providing the information that we wanted about what constituted technical acceptability and the minimum necessary to be technically acceptable. Is there any way I can compel the government to provide a meaningful debriefing, either on this proposal or the next one that we lose?
  5. I had a brainstorming function the other day where we discussed what evaluation factors we would want to use in a few construction requirements. The usual evaluation factors that seem to be universally used came up such as Résumés, Experience, Past Performance, Bonding etc. The RFP will be set-aside for small businesses and the evaluation method is going to be LPTA. What’s noticeable about the evaluation factors we came up with is that all but one of them could be tied to one of the general standards of responsibility at 9.104-1, which would require the referral of any lowest priced offeror rated technically unacceptable to the SBA for a certificate of competency. I don’t take issue referring matters to the SBA, but at the same time I also don’t really like the idea the SBA gets the final say or force me to go through a different process if I disagree. I’m not really looking to solve any problem but more out of curiosity. Whether actually applied or thought up off the top of your head, what are others using for evaluation factors for LPTA (construction or other) solicitations set-aside for small businesses? I did briefly look at a few solicitations posted to FBO and it makes me believe evaluation factors that amount to matters of responsibility are widely used.
  6. How detailed does a LPTA Source Selection Decision Document (SSDD) have to be? I have seen where the TEP members/evaluators used an Evaluation Worksheet Template for each proposal. The Template had a simple grid chart with a column for "Acceptable" and a column for "Unacceptable" where they could enter a checkmark and also the page/section number of the proposal where the supporting language appeared in the proposal. There was no narrative allowed on the Template, unless a proposal was found technically unacceptable. In that case, the evaluator had a block of lines to write a narrative explaining why they found the proposal technically unacceptable on that particular criteria. Once the TEP report is finalized, it goes to the SSA, who writes the SSDD. Can the SSA simply write 1-2 sentences stating that the awardee's proposal is technically acceptable and is the lowest price? As there is no Tradeoff, then there really doesn't seem to be much to say. Does the SSA have a duty to "talk up" the contents of the awardee's proposal? What of the other offerors' proposals? The concern is that the SSA usually relies upon the TEP Report and pulls narrative from it. That works fine in a Tradeoff. But for LPTA, if the TEP members simply put checkmarks and marked the page/section of the proposal, with no narrative, what is the SSA supposed to do? The SSA has a duty to review the proposals themselves, but usually they do that and then still rely upon the TEP report in their SSDD.
  7. Can someone explain how this recent GAO ruling attached below allowed for a cost/technical tradeoff on a Lowest Priced, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection when FAR 15.101-2( B )(2) prohibits tradeoffs under LPTA? (Page 4). Why would you tie confidence levels to Acceptability? In my mind, you are either acceptable or not acceptable and if you are considered acceptable, then you should go to the lowest price. But, in this case they didn't award to the LPTA. It seems to me they did a hybrid between LPTA and Tradeoffs based on confidence levels. How did this process not violate 15.101-2( B )(2)? http://www.gao.gov/a.../650/649636.pdf
  8. Hello All, I have been around Federal contracting for about 13 years, but unfortunately my skill set is somewhat weak in the source selection arena. I have researched this question on WIFCON, AAP, and the DOD SS Guide, but I think I have over-saturated my noggin and would like to see if I can get a straightforward answer from you fine folks. When utilizing LPTA under FAR 15, what recourse does a contracting officer have, if any, when all proposals exceed the government's estimate, and the government believes its estimate is valid (correctly priced). There is a reference in FAR 15.306(e)(3) that mentions that you can tell an offeror that their proposal is high in terms of price, but is that reason alone to enter into discussions? I am sure that I could ramble on with questions, but I will let you folks respond first. Thank you very much! Micah Kruse
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