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It sounds simple. In Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) procurements, the agency determines the best value proposal by identifying those that are technically acceptable and then selecting the one with the lowest price. But there’s a wrinkle when this technique is used for a cost-reimbursement contract. Smartronix’s recent protest at GAO illustrates that proposing the lowest cost doesn’t always win you the contract, even when you’re technically acceptable. Specifically, contractors if the proposed cost is too low, the Government can adjust it upwards. Read on to learn more about this problem and how to avoid it. To read the full article, visit Petrillo & Powell's Patterns of Procurement.
I've been looking at 52.242-17, Government Delay of Work. The prescription states that the clause is optional when a fixed-price contract is contemplated for services, or for supplies that are commercial or modified-commercial items. It also states that the clause is not applicable if the contract otherwise specifically provides for an equitable adjustment because of the delay or interruption; e.g when the changes clause is applicable. However, the changes clause (52.243-1) doesn't address delay or interruption, only changes in 1) drawings, designs, or specs (when supplies are to specially manufactured for gov in accordance with drawings, designs or specs), 2) method of shipment or packing and 3) place of delivery. So, this leads me to believe if we don't have 52.242-17 on contract, then the disputes clause (52.233-1) applies with regard to any government delays. Which got me to thinking, if a fixed-price contract is contemplated for services (or supplies that are commercial or modified commercial), would 52.242-17 be preferable in the contract to address any government delays as opposed to being left with only the disputes clause? Assuming I've made the right connections here, there seem to pluses and minuses with each clause. What do you all think?