The Best Value Approach (BVA) is a paradigm shift from traditional industry practices. Since it’s creation it has faced heavy scrutiny from both academia and industry professionals. Part of this scrutiny is due to the unbelievable performance claims and simplicity of the BVA. Many new to the BVA are often encountered by two doubts:
- Does the BVA fit within my legal constraints?
- Are the promised results too good to be true?
Below is a compiled list of documented audits, papers, and protests of the BVA to help ease these two concerns. However, it is important to realize that the BVA has been used all over the world in 7 countries, 32 of the United States. It has been applied with documented results of high performance in industries such as construction, ICT, services of all kinds, and even the medical industry.
Best Value Audits: 4 Cases
Audit #1 State of Hawaii (2002)
KPMG compared 50 projects from PIPS, and 50 projects from the low-bid process. PIPS projects had fewer punch list items, which tended to be resolved by relevant deadlines. PIPS projects resulted in a lower number of change orders. Results of the Audit:
- 100% of users would use PIPS over low bid system
- 100% of users would use PIPS contractor again
- Performance rating of PIPS vs low bid: 8.1 vs. 5.6
- Avg. performance rating: 9.61 [9.86 when deleting one roof by non-performing vendor]
- Cost of PIPS: 6% below budget
- PIPS projects finished 35% faster
Audit #2 COE PARC (2008)
Albuquerque Core of Engineers Regional Principal Assistants Responsible for Contracting (PARC) approved process as meeting legal requirements in white paper.
- PIPS time savings estimated by the COE user team: 40% time reduction with modified process on $40M new construction project.
- Overall, the committee perceived best value PIPS to be a 24% improvement over the traditional method.
- PBSRG was given 9 out of 10 (90% satisfaction) for their performance and service to the USAF/COE.
- The ALBQ COE District Legal counsel, Richard Totten, reviewed the best value PIPS process/concepts in detail.
The ALBQ COE District Legal counsel, Richard Totten, reviewed the best value PIPS process/concepts in detail. He and the team saw the implementation of the concepts as a paradigm shift and not as a legal issue. “The PIPS process as used by the Albuquerque District is not a pure PIPS process, but adjusted in order to procure the Battlespace Lab using a best value process completely compliant with the FAR.”
Audit #3 Zuyd University & University Twente (2008)
Professor Andre Doree and Joop Van Duren audited
PBSRG claim: 98% of the USA projects were finished on time and within budget
- 93.5% stated that the project was delivered on time
- 96.7% stated that the project was delivered within budget.
- In the US projects, 91% of the clients stated that there were no charges for extra work.
Audited PBSRG claim: 98% of the projects meet the client’s expectations.
- Audit result: In the US, 93.9% of the clients awarded the contractor’s performance with an A or B (>8 on a 1– 10 scale); 94% would hire the same contractor again.
- Results were published as PhD dissertation
- In the US, 94.1% of the clients state that they selected a better contractor using the PIPS method compared to experiences with traditional tendering.
- At the same time, 100% of the clients stated that they would use PIPS again indicating that their expectations were fulfilled.
Audit #4 WSCA/NASPO Agreement (2011)
Western States Contracting Alliance (WSCA) (former) & National Association of State Procurement Officials called NASPO and represents all 50 states. Agreement signed on September 2011 to have direct access to ASU. State of Alaska oversees the agreement
- Includes license to all ASU’s material on Best Value
- ASU is the only vendor to hold this type of agreement with NASPO
- NASPO Board visited ASU on 1/8/16 to seek degree program based on the Best Value research results
History of Protests: Six Cases
Protest #1 State of Hawaii Protest
A contractor bidding on a project for the State of Hawaii claimed that they were discriminated against (denied) and that the state government should not have used PIPS due to its illegal nature (denied). However, in this case, an administrative error of not stopping the award of all protested projects led to the award of legal fees to the protesting contractor.
Protest #2 Polk County Florida project
During the bidding process for one of the Polk County projects, one of the contractor’s risk assessment document was over two pages (two pages was the maximum for the risk assessment document) and the PIPS team did not catch it, resulting in a string of protests.
Protest #3 State of Oklahoma protest to OJA project
Some vendors protested to the OJA Project because they believed that the state agency group had a relationship with a lobby group that was connected to the prioritized best value vendor.
Protest #4. State of Oklahoma protest to light bulb contract award
The protester claimed they were disadvantaged because, even though they were allowed to, they did not bring their manufacturer’s supplier to the interview. After seeing that they did not do as well, they protested. Another vendor protested because they used their name in their risk submittals after being warned that the risk submittals were “blind.” Their argument was they were not a vendor.
Protest #5. State of Oklahoma hazardous waste contract
This contract award was notorious for protests. Every award had been protested. As previously, the best value PIPS contract award was protested. However, the protesting party did not show up at the court appointment to argue their case.
Protest #6. Arizona State University Help Desk Project
ASU’s protest was due to an incumbent vendor that protested due to “perceived” irregularities in the best value PIPS process. The protest was denied by the ASU Procurement Director. The protestor filed a protest to override the ruling. The protest was denied by an arbitrator.