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GAO: Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Process Needs Fix at DOD

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows that the Defense Department is failing to properly guide contracting officials in awarding contracts through the lowest price technically acceptable process.

GAO said Tuesday some DOD officials admitted they were confused about how to apply two of the eight criteria for using the LPTA process. 

Four of the 14 contracting officials interviewed by the agency said they did not understand how to apply the criteria to see if "the goods being purchased are predominantly expendable in nature, nontechnical or have a short life expectancy or shelf life" and if the lowest price "reflects full life-cycle costs, including for operations and support."

“Absent clarification on how to consider these two criteria, DOD increases the risk that its contracting officials will not consistently implement the requirements” in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, the GAO said. 

The agency estimates that 26 percent of contracts and orders valued $5M and above in fiscal year 2017 from DOD were released using the LPTA process. 

The Pentagon agreed with the GAO’s recommendations to revise its regulations and issue a new guidance by end of fiscal year 2019 on how contracting officials should apply the two criteria.

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