DoD Moving Away From LPTA for IT Acquisitions

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The Department of Defense (DoD) published a new proposed rule in the Federal Register on Tuesday that follows through on legislation to remove the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) acquisition methodology from IT and cybersecurity acquisitions, in favor of the tradeoff source selection process.

The proposed rule, open to comment until Feb. 4, would be implemented in the Defense Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS), and is based on both the 2017 and 2018 National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAAs), which include language to define when LPTA is to be used. While initially passed as part of Section 813 in the 2017 NDAA, the 2018 NDAA included some amendments to define when LPTA should be used.

“Section 813, as amended, further provides that use of the LPTA process should be avoided, to the maximum extent practicable, when acquiring information technology, cybersecurity services, systems engineering and technical assistance services, advanced electronic testing, other knowledge-based professional services, personal protective equipment, or certain services in support of contingency or other operations outside the United States,” the proposed rule states.

The proposed rule would also restrict LPTA usage to projects where “no, or minimal, additional innovation or future technological advantage will be realized by using a different source selection process.”

While the proposed rule would only affect DoD agencies, the 2019 NDAA may expand the restrictions on using LPTA for IT and cybersecurity. The bill, signed into law in August, will extend the restrictions to all Federal agencies through the Federal Acquisition Regulation when implemented.

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