LPTA procurements require selection officials to choose the lowest-priced proposal that meets the minimum technical specifications, ignoring the additional benefits offered by other proposals. This is true even if another proposal is only one cent more expensive, or proposes innovations. Thus, some agencies have issued guidance advising contracting officials of the limitations of their use of LPTAs, cautioning that “[t]he LPTA process does not permit tradeoffs between price and non-price factors and an offeror’s failure to meet a mandatory technical requirement will render its proposal ineligible for award.” This low price requirement can cause the Government to buy products or services that it does not want, forgo buying products or services of greater value that it does want, and ultimately reduce customer satisfaction. Procurements that involve best value trade-offs, by contrast, provide agencies flexibility in their contracting decisions and permit agencies to make award to a technically superior proposal that may not have been the lowest-priced proposal.
This new final rule amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to include stringent limitations on the use of LPTA procurements by defense agencies. The rule implements sections 813, 814, and 892 of the FY 2017 NDAA, and sections 822, 832, 882, and 1002 of the FY 2018 NDAA. Section 813 of the FY 2017 NDAA required that DoD allow the use of LPTA procedures only when the following six criteria are satisfied:
Section 832 of the FY 2018 NDDA subsequently added the following two additional criteria to this list, so that LPTA procedures may be used only where eight criteria are satisfied:
In addition to limiting LPTA procedures to those situations where the eight criteria above are met, the FY 2017 and FY 2018 NDAAs explicitly prohibited the use of LPTA for certain categories of acquisitions. Section 813(c) of the FY 2017 NDAA provides that “to the maximum extent practicable,” the use of LPTA shall be avoided when purchasing “(1) information technology services, cybersecurity services, systems engineering and technical assistance services, advanced electronic testing, audit or audit readiness services, or other knowledge-based professional services; (2) personal protective equipment; or (3) knowledge-based training or logistics services in contingency operations or other operations outside the United States, including in Afghanistan or Iraq.” Similarly, Section 832 of the FY 2018 NDAA prohibits the use of LPTA in engineering and manufacturing contracts for major defense acquisition programs.
The FY 2019 NDAA, Pub.L. 115-232, which the President signed into law on August 13, 2018, also includes limitations on the use of LPTA procedures. Section 880 applies to civilian agencies many of the foregoing limitations. The new rule does not address the requirements in section 880, as that statute is being implemented via FAR case 2018-016, Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Source Selection Process.
Two recent Government Accountability Office Reports, one from November 2018 (GAO-19-54) and one from September 2019 (GAO-19-691) found that, in FY 2017 and FY 2018, DoD used the LPTA process for about 26 percent and 25 percent of contracts and orders exceeding $5 million, respectively. Congress, via the FY 2017, FY 2018 and FY 2019 NDAAs, has sought to reduce the prevalence of this procurement type. While the simplicity of LPTA procurements is attractive to procurement officials, Congress appears to have concluded that efficiency on the front end of a procurement often does not justify the results. In sum, contractors can expect that agencies will reduce their use of LPTA acquisitions.
 FAR 15.101-2.
 See id.
 See Triad Logistics Services Corp.,B-407842.2, 2013 CPD ¶ 106, at 3 (Comp. Gen. Apr. 22, 2013).
 See Timothy Bunting, Lost and Found: In Search of a Uniform Approach for Selecting Best Value, 44 Pub. Cont. L.J. 1 at 28 (2014). (“A certain degree of flexibility is needed in order to make rational decisions and select the best option for taxpayers. LPTA prevents the agency from paying more for what it considers to be better value.”)
 The new rule accomplishes this by amending several DFARS provisions and adding a number of new ones. The rule amends DFARS section 208.405, subsection 213.106–1, section 216.505, and section 237.270. The rule also adds the following provisions: section 212.203; section 215.101–2–70; subpart 217.78, and subsection 234.005-2. Finally, the rule adds the section heading 215.101-2.