PSC calls on Pentagon to issue LPTA rule

By Marjorie Censer / November 28, 2018 at 1:49 PM

In a new letter to a top acquisition official, the Professional Services Council is calling on the Pentagon to take steps to clarify how to use lowest price, technically acceptable contracting, a controversial strategy that has attracted significant attention in recent years.

In the Nov. 20 letter to Kevin Fahey, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition, David Berteau, president and chief executive of PSC, writes that the organization has "serious concerns regarding the Department's continued delay of overdue and statutorily mandated regulations restricting the use of lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) source selection criteria for DOD services contracts."

He points to recent legislation that cautioned the Pentagon from using LPTA except in certain circumstances, noting that the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act sought a revision to defense acquisition regulations to implement those changes.

Despite this, Berteau writes, a new Government Accountability Office report indicated the Pentagon does not plan to revise regulations or issue guidance until the end of fiscal year 2019.

"PSC understands that there are additional considerations relating to issuing regulations, but we believe those with a statutory foundation should get the highest priority," Berteau continues. "Accordingly, PSC respectfully urges you to prioritize, finalize, and issue the Section 813 LPTA regulation as expeditiously as possible and prior to the end of this calendar year."

"The rule-making process needs to keep up with the pace of legislation and the needs of the users," he adds.