The Obama Administration is no stranger to Nickle and Dime Hustle. One look at Obamacare and anyone can see that if the value of the Blue Collar Life is a piecemeal endeavor with exemptions abounding for Congressional Staffers, Big Business and Special Interests then the mentality is going to stretch across the bureaucracy.
There is a term within Federal Contracting Circles known as Lowest Price Technical Value (LPTA). LPTA basically means, in my opinion, let the hacks in to undercut professionals. People like Craig Karnes, Director of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) Management and Marketing (M&M) takes it a bit further, though. He combines LPTA with scraping the requirement of allowing Small Businesses to even compete.
FED Connects is talking about the ramifications of the long term effects of LPTA this morning. Granted, it is an advertisement toss as far as I can tell; the toss, though is important to note.
A successful protest of an LPTA contract award may afford the protestor the opportunity to obtain a remedy that is usually impossible to obtain when protesting a traditional best value source selection – the remedy of a directed award. In traditional best value protests, when a protest is sustained, the GAO commonly recommends that the agency set aside the award and either reopen the competition for new proposals or reevaluate submitted proposals. It is very rare in a traditional best value procurement for the GAO to direct the agency to award the contract to a specific offeror after a protest is sustained. Demonstrating that the low-priced offeror was technically acceptable will not always lead to a directed award, however, as GAO affords agencies broad discretion and agencies have, in our experience, canceled a successfully protested LPTA procurement in order to reassess their minimum needs.
In the case of an offeror without a record of relevant past performance or for whom information on past performance is not available or so sparse that no meaningful past performance rating can be reasonably assigned, the offeror may not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on past performance (see FAR 15.305 (a)(2)(iv)).
The lynchpin, in my opinion, hinges upon the fact that most Companies and the Contract Writers hired on their behalf are nervous to raise issues over their Competitors past performance. It’s a Good ‘Ol Boys Club at the end of the day. What a misnomer; while these Writers have been around the Block, they really have absolutely no idea (at least within HUD) whom really determines who gets the Awards.
Each and every Contract that a Contract Writer drafts should be put together like it is their Magnum Opus. To bring up the fact that Company A, B and C all had previous HUD Office of the Inspector General (HUD OIG) Complaints should be driven home. The days of yesteryear wherein the Award of the Contract were based upon the Merits are long gone.
Much like the Dos Equis Pitchman’s Statement, “I don’t always write HUD Contracts, but when I do, they win!” Stay winners, my friends!