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NVTC Applauds Senate Armed Services Committee’s Adoption of Warner/Round Language Limiting Use of LPTA Evaluation Criteria

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee adopted language on Thursday introduced by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) strongly supported by Committee Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and advocated for by NVTC. The language seeks the best long-term value for 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.

"Ensuring the Pentagon uses LPTA in the most appropriate and cost-effective way is critical to reforming and streamlining our defense acquisition,” said U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain. Sen. Warner said, “Innovation and technological advancement are key to our continued national security, especially as we must stay ahead of the growing threat posed by cyberattacks. For this reason, I am pleased that the Senate Armed Services Committee included in its National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 legislation I introduced to bring more reason to the LPTA process.”

The amendment was taken from the bipartisan Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act introduced last month by Sens. Warner and Rounds and was included in the fiscal year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It ensures that DoD is limiting the use of LPTA by directing 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.

According to Sen. Warner, “While LPTA is a useful and cost-effective source selection evaluation method in certain circumstances, its misapplication undermines efforts to ensure that the DoD is using, producing, and driving innovative and cutting-edge IT and engineering solutions. When it comes to maintaining America’s superiority in producing and leveraging technology and innovation, DoD should use procurement methods that provide taxpayers and service members with the best product or service at the lowest price – not simply the lowest-priced product or service.”

NVTC has been actively working with Sen. Warner and the Professional Services Council (PSC) in support of this legislation. On May 3, NVTC sent a letter to Sen. McCain, urging him to support the “Promoting Value Based Defense Procurement Act of 2016” and its inclusion in the fiscal year 2017 NDAA.

Sen. McCain said, “I'm proud to support this measure in the FY17 NDAA, which builds on a variety of major reforms to our defense acquisition system that will enable our military to maintain its technological advantage and harness American innovation for the benefit of our warfighters."

“Northern Virginia’s technology community is grateful to Sens. Warner and Rounds for championing this important legislation and we very much appreciate the strong support and advocacy of Senate Committee Chairman McCain in securing its inclusion in the NDAA,” said NVTC President and CEO Bobbie Kilberg. “Limiting the use of LPTA criteria will enable our technology community to better serve the Department of Defense by providing more innovative technology goods and services to advance capabilities in cyber security, data analytics, and other critical IT areas.”

In addition, Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.) has filed a similar amendment under consideration by the House of Representatives. Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) signed on as co-sponsor and was joined by Reps. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.), Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)