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Can price analysis alone be used to select a lower priced bid?


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Hi all, I've followed discussions of WIFCON for the past year but have never posted anything until now.

I have a question concerning price evaluations on a Part 15 solicitation. The solicitation includes an IDIQ (labor rate schedule) and a first task order, both of which require pricing. The evaluation criteria sets out that the government will "evaluate the price through an evaluation of the proposed labor rate schedules, a price analysis and realism analysis of the first task order and a determination on cost reasonableness".

So let me pose a "for instance". Let's say two offerors end up in source selection with essentially similar technical evaluations and similar IDIQ price schedules when all option years are considered. But one has a higher task order price then the other, although the task order price for each of these offers are determined to be both reasonable and realistic. In the absence of any further discussion of price evaluation in the solicitation than the above line, could 15.404-1( b ) price analysis of the first task order be used to give greater preference to the bid with the lower task order price?

Thanks in advance!

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So to be clear there is no reference to "price" anywhere else in the solicitation such as a statement like this....

All evaluation factors other than cost or price, when combined, are—

(1) Significantly more important than cost or price;

(2) Approximately equal to cost or price; or

(3) Significantly less important than cost or price

and/or "Low Price Technically Acceptable" and/or its acronym "LPTA"?

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Guest Vern Edwards


I apologize for jumping in here, but help me out: So the two offerors:

(1) got "essentially similar" technical scores (i.e., not significantly different),

(2) proposed "essentially similar" rates (i.e., not significantly different), and

(3) proposed prices for the first task order that were both (a) realistic and ( b ) reasonable.

Is that right?

But one's task order price was higher than the other's.

You want to know if it's okay to award the contract to the offeror with the lower order price based on comparison of the task order prices.

Is that right? Is that what you want to know?

If I have the facts right, and if I understand your question, tell me: Given facts (1), (2) and (3), what reason would you give for awarding to the offeror whose task order price was higher? No matter what the relative importance of non-price versus price factors, and regardless of whether the procurement was lowest-price technically acceptable or based on nonprice/price tradeoffs, what reason would you give?

Why would you award to the higher priced offeror? Assuming that the procurement is not LPTA, what is in the higher-priced offeror's technical proposal that is not in the lower-priced offeror's technical proposal that you would pay more to get?

Now, assuming that you did not say in the solicitation that you would do more than a price analysis -- comparison of the proposed order prices -- why would you do more than a price analysis? You have already determined that the lower price is reasonable and realistic. Right? Fact (3). So what would you expect to learn by doing more than a price analysis that might change what seems to me to be the obvious result of the competition?


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