Rounds, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Encourage Greater Competition & Innovation in DOD Cyber Procurement

Rounds Logo 2016 MikeRounds official SenateRounds, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Encourage Greater Competition & Innovation in DOD Cyber Procurement

Bipartisan, bicameral legislation reforms procurement process to maximize performance and long-term value for the taxpayer

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), along with U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), today introduced S. 2826, the bipartisan Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act. The legislation would make sure that the Department of Defense (DOD) seeks the best long-term value for the taxpayers during the procurement process for complex information technology and engineering services by providing greater clarity on DOD’s existing Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria.

“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,” said Rounds. “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.”

Through the LPTA process, all proposals meeting a defined set of minimum technical requirements are considered and the contract is awarded to the lowest-price bidder. However, in cases of more complex and knowledge-based procurements, such as IT services, technical requirements are often harder for DOD to fully define and articulate, and the least expensive option may not be the best overall value if it doesn’t encourage participation by private-sector partners providing innovative products and services and the most talented people.

The Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act would make sure that DOD is using LPTA in the most effective and appropriate manner.  The bill directs DOD to avoid, to the maximum extent practicable, LPTA criteria when the procurement is for information technology, systems engineering and technical assistance, or other knowledge-based professional services.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).

Full text of the bill can be found here.