Under a “Best Value” continuum there is a recognition that the government always seeks to obtain the best value in negotiated acquisitions using any one, or a combination of source selection approaches. In addition, the acquisition should be tailored to the requirement. At one end of this continuum is the “lowest price, technically acceptable” (LPTA) strategy and at the other end is the “technical/past performance predominates” strategy whereby trade-off of price, past performance, and technical considerations are weighed to identify the quote that provides the government with the best value.
Best value procurements involve trade-offs between cost, technical, and past performance factors to determine which option provides the solution that best meets the government’s needs while reducing the associated risk. For example, if the government’s requirements are to increase efficiency and thereby reduce the agency’s operating cost, the purchase of a high-end computer at a high price may be a better value than a low-end computer at a low price.
Part of the best value trade-off analysis involves conducting a risk analysis; the ordering activity must consider whether it is willing to pay more for:
If it decides to use non-price factors, which means that other than the LPTA quotation may be selected, the ordering activity must clearly state the priorities in the RFQ.
When determining best value, an ordering activity may take advantage of the full spectrum of best value techniques as defined in FAR 2.101. When making the best value determination, ordering activities should refer to the guidance provided in the RFQ for the evaluation factors and their relative weights in the decision-making process. Price may be the least important evaluation factor, but it must be evaluated.