Software group backs curbs on LPTA in defense bill

software (whiteMocca/ 

A trade group backed by Microsoft, Adobe, Box and other tech industry powerhouses is backing proposed limits on "lowest price technically acceptable" standards in federal governmentwide acquisition efforts.

In a July 18 letter, BSA/The Software Alliance told leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees that it supports the LPTA limits in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act now under consideration.

The NDAA has provisions that would control LPTA use in governmentwide acquisition efforts for IT and technology.

"These provisions would greatly strengthen the cybersecurity of US government information systems in the face of growing cyberthreats and we urge conferees to retain them in the final version of the legislation," said the letter from Craig Albright, vice president of the trade association.

Albright's group was originally formed by Microsoft in 1988 as The Software Alliance. Microsoft is still a member, as are tech giants such as Adobe, Box, IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, Symantec and others.

The letter said LPTA "prevents the workforce from investing in cybersecurity." The NDAA provisions, backed by Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C), would remove the restrictions, Albright said.

"When it comes to more-complex acquisitions involving multiple technical variables or functions, such as innovative information technology or cyber security services, LPTA's priority of price over value leads to acquisition outcomes that actually prevent the government from getting the most for its money," Albright wrote.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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