Rounds introduces bill to improve Department of Defense procurement of IT, engineering services

U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday that would improve how the Department of Defense (DoD) procures complex information technology and engineering services to save taxpayer dollars.

The Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act, S. 2826, would clarify the DoD’s Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria to ensure long-term value in its procurements.

“The Department of Defense has a responsibility to provide our Armed Forces with high quality, advanced equipment while remaining a responsible steward of taxpayers’ dollars,” Rounds said. “This bill will help make sure that DoD is using LPTA in an appropriate manner while avoiding its use in determining source selection for complex, innovative technology and engineering services, where the least expensive option is often not the best long-term value. This is in the best interests of our war fighters and our taxpayers.”

The current LPTA process requires all proposals to meet defined minimum technical requirements and for the contract to be awarded to the lowest bidder. When it comes to complex and knowledge-based procurements, however, technical requirements are hard to define, and the least expensive option may not be the best one.

Under the Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act, the DoD would be directed to avoid LPTA criteria whenever possible when procuring complex information technology, systems engineering, technical assistance services and other knowledge-based professional services.

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) cosponsored the bipartisan bill.

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