Public and Private Sectors are Far Apart on LPTA

From AFCEA Signal Online | October 24, 2013

Lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) procurement might not give government the best solutions, and it definitely causes consternation for industry, but it is here to stay at least for a while. A survey released this week reveals deep concerns about the LPTA business deals and why current fiscal demands will keep them around.

Market Connections Incorporated and Centurion Research Solutions showcased the difference in perception between the public and private sectors regarding LPTA and industry’s concerns it cannot deliver its best work under the contracts.

“The government really needs to stay cognizant that in the LPTA world, they could be sacrificing innovation and value,” Lisa Dezzutti, president and chief executive officer of Market Connections, says.

Public officials should not expect the same level of quality on deliverables using the lowest-price selection method. The situation frustrates contractors, most of whom want to provide their best work to the clients they serve. Dezzutti says industry must understand that despite the problems, LPTA will remain a common way of business, so they need to make the necessary strategic adjustments to compete.

Only 12 percent of contractors said they were very satisfied with the quality of deliverables under this type of procurement. Twenty-five percent of government said the same. The numbers increase to 39 and 34 percent, respectively, for the “somewhat satisfied” response. With 59 percent of government officials expressing some level of satisfaction, Dezzutti believes it will take a long time before the pendulum swings away from LPTA. Fifty-nine percent of contractors and 42 percent of government workers expect LPTA procurement to increase over the next three years. Sixty-four percent of government respondents are likely to issue an LPTA request for proposal (RFP) in the future, and 82 percent of contractors are likely to respond.

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