Does LPTA Really Cost More?

Does LPTA Really Cost More?

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better.” – John Ruskin, 1819-1900

In an effort to maintain a high degree of fiscal responsibility, the Government instituted the Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) source selection process. By design, this approach set out to quickly evaluate and award contracts that fulfill requirements at lower costs. Government contracting historically applied this process when purchasing commodities where delivery risk was low and quality was not paramount, which remains appropriate today. (Further guidance promoting the proper use of LPTA is available in the Appropriate Use of LPTA Source Selection Process and Contract Type memo.)

Faced with tightening budgets and dramatic resource constraints and driven in part by the debt ceiling and sequestration, the Government has expanded its use of LPTA to more complex procurements such as services and technology solutions. This broad application of LPTA poses risks that threaten the ability to execute the Government’s mission critical programs. It must be taken into account when determining acquisition strategy and evaluating vendor solutions. These risks include:

  • Cost overruns due to delivery challenges, requiring increased contracting oversight
  • Misalignment between client quality expectations and the contractor’s delivery
  • High project personnel turnover
  • Limited access to experienced personnel equipped to address today’s dynamic environment
  • Inferior solutions that lack innovation for the Government’s leading challenges
  • Potential for future contracts to address insufficient delivery of services or products

While LPTA drives down costs on the surface, it may ultimately prove the more costly approach for complex consulting services and technical solutions. Simply stated, “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done.”

To both save money and drive long-term success, the Government should issue solicitations that encourage competition based on solution design and innovation rather than emphasize low cost. This provides lasting solutions that effectively address the Government’s leading challenges, while serving the American people.

Going even further, the Government should engage industry early to identify how it would be best to encourage innovation for particularly challenging requirements. Competition and creativity will increase, and the Government will get the best value.

Blog Contracts Innovation

Contributors

* Arc Aspicio |

Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams take a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments where missions evolve and new priorities arise sometimes even daily. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

Lynn Ann Casey / Chief Executive Officer info@arcaspicio.com 703.465.2060

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

Launching into #Action Through Strategy

As a new employee, your first company-wide meeting can make you nervous. This was how I felt.

Arc Aspicio’s recent Strategy Launch Day was so well planned and it involved participants so that I learned that I had nothing to worry about! The company treats each employee equally and equips even the newest joiners with the information and skills they need to have a meaningful experience

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

What Being a Consultant Means to Me

As a Consulting Associate at Arc Aspicio, I provide expertise and insight to help clients solve difficult problems. To be successful, a consultant does not need only to be a subject matter expert on their client’s industry and needs - though this often ends up happening over time.

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

Captivate Your Audience Through Design+Data

So often, senior leaders must communicate their strategic and simple vision in a world of growing complexity. They must make decisions – and frequently explain them – based on an enterprise view of their data. It’s getting easier to do this these days through data visualizations and infographics that speak to specific employee and stakeholder audiences. Design+Data is what we call it at Arc Aspicio.

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

Chief Data Officers: Six Steps to Manage Data as an Enterprise Asset

With an exponential increase in the types and quantities of data, organizations need defined strategies and techniques to manage data as an enterprise asset. To create enterprise-wide use of data, a Chief Data Officer (CDO) needs a clear data agenda for leadership and the whole organization to address current and future needs. CDOs should follow this six-part data plan to achieve short term capability gains and plot a path to greater enterprise data maturity.

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Securing Cyberspace: Agile Strategy to Counter Changing Threats

Cybersecurity, managing and protecting computer systems from attacks, is evolving just as quickly as the techniques hackers use to cause damage. Historically, the public and private sectors believed that stronger technology and more advanced computer systems alone were enough to prevent attacks. As new trends emerge and the technologies used to both conduct and prevent hackings improve, cybersecurity strategies must remain agile, trying new tactics to counter changing threats.

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Hacking Back – Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

With the increased frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks worldwide, companies and executives are becoming frustrated with a traditional focus on defensive tactics. As a result, some private sector actors are taking a more active role in cybersecurity by “hacking back” – hacking against the very groups that are attacking their systems in retaliation or to retrieve stolen data. As hacking back rises in popularity, it is important to consider a number of political and legal issues and the risks to counter-terrorism efforts.

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

Washington, DC, October 19, 2018 — LeadersNest named Arc Aspicio CEO Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree. The FedFem awards salute high-impact women executives and leaders of the government contracting community. FedFem Award Honorees blend their entrepreneurial courage and Federal government support that effectively impacts the industry, national economy, and the local marketplace. 

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

To keep up with the fast pace of change in the field of Government acquisitions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components are developing their own acquisition requirements (AR) policies. However, without specific timeframes to finalize these policies, DHS agencies often lack guidance on how to develop ARs. Among DHS agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is leading the way with their own formal policy to describe this process. To compliment the U.S. Coast Guard’s policy, DHS created the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System (JRIMS) to offer direction for agencies—to review, validate, and suggest solutions for capability gaps and requirements.

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.