According to a new report just issued by the Commission on Wartime Contracting, federal law is impeding State Department from making the best choice for security contractors. The report, "Lowest-priced security not good enough for war-zone embassies," points out that the State Department is required to use a “lowest price, technically acceptable” standard in awarding building security contracts worth $250,000 or more.
Citing the recent misconduct and deficiencies with the Armor Group North America security contract at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, the report says the law can lead to a "race-to-the-bottom" among contractors bidding on a contract, which can in turn work against the public interest.
The report recommends the law be amended so that the Department "can award security service contracts using the full continuum of best-value trade-off evaluation techniques." We don't agree with the Commission's recommendation and will post an analysis soon.
-- Bryan Rahija