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If you haven’t had the opportunity to read through the 1000+ pages of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, you might not have heard about this fabulous little nugget yet. Section 880, Use of Lowest Price Technical Acceptable Source Selection Process, offers a glimmer of hope for changes in the use of lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) as an evaluation method for certain acquisitions. In particular, H.R. 5515 stresses that LPTA should be avoided in procurements of “information technology services, cybersecurity services, systems engineering and technical assistance services, advanced electronic testing, audit or audit readiness services, health care services and records, telecommunications devices and services, or other knowledge-based professional services.”

This is great news for my cybersecurity and IT clients. This seems like a no-brainer, right? Why would you trust cybersecurity to the lowest bidder? Although this is just a policy recommendation at this point, I’m looking forward to this flowing down into the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) with the criteria for its limited use that’s been outlined in Section 880. And yes, I’ve seen several cybersecurity LPTA solicitations this year. I’ve also seen LPTA for security guard services. Who’s great idea was that? Did someone really say – “hey, we need to recompete our security guard service for our Army base. I know these guys carry guns, and are supposed to serve as our SWAT team when we have a crisis, but I think we can award this to the lowest bidder.” [face palm]