WASHINGTON – Two leading groups representing federal contractors, the IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS) and the Professional Services Council (PSC), are again objecting to the source selection process being used for ENCORE III, a $17.5 billion multi-award information technology (IT) solicitation issued by the Department of Defense (DOD). In a letter released today they warn Pentagon officials this process will hurt competition and could inhibit the ability of the armed services to access the most innovative technologies at the best value for taxpayers. The groups have asked the DOD to reverse course and take action to improve this procurement.
In the letter, the groups are objecting to the decision to source the ENCORE III contract through the lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) selection process that also directly contradicts an earlier March 2015 memo on the proper use of LPTA. The groups contend that LPTA is the inappropriate source selection process for ENCORE III because the requirements of this solicitation are too technologically complex, the future workforce requirements over the next decade too uncertain, and the prices being assessed are too disconnected from the actual work to be executed. Pre-award protests have been filed by perspective offerors on this acquisition.
If the intended goal of the procurement is to provide DOD with high caliber information technology services, the groups suggest that the department should instead utilize the cost/technical tradeoff source selection methodology. DOD’s decision comes on the heels of growing concerns being voice by lawmakers and outside observers that the armed forces are falling behind in their technological superiority, often due to the procurement process decisions such as this.
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