Myth No. 3: The Contracting Officer Really Isn’t Our Customer; the Program People Are.

*This post is the third in the ten part series, “Ten Myths of Government Contracting” and will be released weekly. Each week will introduce  a new myth and run for ten weeks.  One of the most significant differences between commercial contracting and Government contracting is the presence and importance of a person called the “Contracting Officer.”  There is really no commercial equivalent of the C.O., and it is critical that a Government contractor understand the role that the C.O. plays.  In a nutshell, nothing happens in Government contracting unless the C.O. says it does. Imagine if every single Government employee, from the president down to a buck private, had the unlimited ability to commit the Government contractually.  That’s ridiculous, of course.  If that were the … Continue reading

Afterthoughts: Low Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA)

Following each Nash & Schooner Hot Topics Webinar event, we interview Professor Ralph Nash to get his thoughts on the topic following the panel discussion. On November 29th, Professors Ralph Nash and Steve Schooner and Dean Dan Gordon discussed LPTAs.   What is the difference between an LPTA competition versus a sealed bid competition? With sealed bidding of course you open the bids publicly whereas in LPTA you don’t get see other prices or the other bidders’ technical proposals.  In addition, in sealed bidding, a bid is responsive or non-responsive with no way to fix it except, of course, if you are using two step.  Whereas in LPTA you have the option of negotiation and using negotiation to get unacceptable bids to acceptable.  I don’t … Continue reading