Having held a GSA contract for years, I make the following observations/recommendations:
1) There needs to be a mandated response time from GSA COs and buyers. We had a CO that never returned e-mails or calls. Truly never. We finally got transferred to a new officer but it still can take days to get responses. If there were no deadlines, that would be great. The same holds true for buyers who are responsible for our taxpayer money. If I ask a question, there is a valid reason; usually because the government is about to waste my money. I have missed out on business I could have won because I get no answers.
2) If we are still to be burdened with LPTA, please make sure the CO actually understands what they are buying. A Yugo my be a LPTA for a 'car' but once again, COs are responsible for spending (or wasting) my money. Seen many cases where the LPTA did not actually do what the requested solution did and the modification cost twice the price of the original requested solution.
3) It is high time to drop the ‘lowest price win’s mentality. I’ve seen the lame attempt at calling the winning solution the ‘one that provides the best value to the government’ with the lowest bidder winning yet again. And yet again, the government spends more money to fix the mistake than if they had gone with the actual best value. Price does not equal value and since you get what you pay for, these practice needs to end immediately.
4) I am pleased that the office of acquisitions is looking to talk to industry in the process. A little education will save us all a ton of money.