Evaluation criteria


Most of the shaping techniques discussed so far focus on convincing the government to put a requirement into a solicitation that blocks other vendors from bidding.
But you can also try to influence how proposals are evaluated. And there are two principle ways to influence:

  • Low Price or Best Value: The two principle ways that the government selects a winners are:
    • Low price: If the government uses a Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) evaluation the government chooses the lowest priced bid that meets the technical requirements in the solicitation
    • Best value: If the government uses a Best Value (BV) evaluation the government considers a basket of factors (including prices) and chooses the bid that provides the best value to the government
  • The evaluation factors: If a solicitation comes out BV then the government should publish a scoring grid for how proposals will be evaluated. For example the scoring grid might include things like:
    • The quality of the proposed management plan
    • The strength of the past performance
    • The quality of the technical solution
    • Whether all risks have been addressed

LPTA v Best Value (BV)

  1. Low price: Is better for:
    1. Smaller vendors who typically have less overhead
    2. High volume vendors
  2. Best value: Tends to be better for:
    1. Larger vendors who want to sell big and comprehensive solutions
    2. Premium solutions

Identify your differentiators/ strengths

  1. Assess whether LPTA or BV plays to your strengths: As a new vendor is can be difficult to know whether you are better off with LPTA or BV but generally LPTA is better because:
    1. Your prices are generally going to be lower than large vendor’s
    2. Relationships are less important (e.g. in BV analysis there is a lot more subjective decision making and established vendors can use their relationships to craft proposals that address a solicitations unwritten/ implied needs)
  2. Assess the evaluation criteria that play to your strengths: If you think that you are stronger in a particular part of the evaluation criteria note that (e.g. if your team has an especially strong technical track record then be aware of that)

Review the upcoming acquisition

  • Stage agnostic: Regardless of solicitation stage (Forecast, RFI, etc) you can and should think about advocating for the evaluation criteria you prefer (LPTA or BV) and how the evaluation criteria should be weighted

Why your differentiator/strength helps the government

  • Price: LPTA tends to produce lower cost solutions, so you make a cost case if this:
    • Government customer is especially cost conscious
    • Is a commodity contract
  • Quality: In general BV produces higher quality results so if this is a critical contract you can advocate for BV
  • Speed: LPTA tends to be faster because:
    • The government doesn’t have to read all the proposals
    • It is less likely that there will be a bid protest
  • Administrative risk: LPTA can be marginally more risky because the government has to explicitly list all of administrative check-boxes that the company has to check. So if the government forgets to include a certification or qualification that protects their administrative compliance then they can be in trouble

Other resources

SAM.gov (Individual contract checks)

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