Federal Computer Week recently featured an in-depth feature story about the IT challenges surrounding the launch of HealthCare.gov, and if it was a “learnable moment.”
Many experts from government and industry provided commentary about how complex federal procurement rules can contribute to the failure of advanced IT systems, as well as how budget cuts are impacting the effectiveness of the government procurement workforce.
The article also highlights how stagnant government budgets are pushing agencies to embrace Lowest Price, Technically Acceptable (LPTA) evaluation criteria to select between competing bids for IT projects.
SC&H’s Lynne Gummo was quoted in this article and had these insights to share:
“The LPTA environment is appropriate for status augmentation type procurements,” said Lynne Gummo, who leads the Government Contracting Industry Group at SC&H, an audit, tax and consulting firm.
She said LPTA contracts can work for projects that do not require leading-edge IT solutions and where price matters more than anything else. When budgets are constricted, however, it’s better to pinch pennies on your help desk rather than on contracts related to cybersecurity or cloud computing, where performance issues can drastically impact the mission.
Gummo also recently participated in a podcast interview in the wake of the recent Market Connections and Centurion Research study where she discussed the impact of LPTA procurements on small businesses. The research found that LPTA contracts may be awarded to less qualified companies, sacrifice long-term value for short-term cost savings and could act to lower government contractors’ standards of performance.
It seems that LPTA procurements will continue to be common in the federal government arena – even though the HealthCare.gov launch is a prime example of how the government needs to change the way it acquires products and services from industry.
Be sure to read the full Federal Computer Week article here.