Reliance on LPTA source selection criteria is on the rise. While the overall percentage of contracts hovers around 2.5 for all solicitations (according to Ray Bjorklund's post on a similar topic in the Washington Business Journal at the start of the calendar year). That might not seem like much but its a big deal when it happens to you-- especially if you're recompeting for existing work. As use of LPTA criteria goes up, so does risk-- as argued by Gerry Simone in this govconexec opinion piece.
Clients are understandably looking for low-cost solutions. But by using LPTA, they restricting themselves to selecting a bidder that is sufficiently convincing on paper that they're qualified. It's less (or not at all) important that others might have better, more innovative, most effective etc. solutions. By issuing LPTA, clients are saying that those other factors simply aren't a priority for their programs.
It is ironic in a way because all of these client organizations hold themselves to a standard high above just "acceptable." In most cases, this agencies have long histories of exemplary service and sacrifice, functional excellence, core values, and commitment. Why they would expect anything less from their contractors is baffling.
Of course, the budget pressures are real. The government needs to get a handle on costs, while still expecting and paying for outstanding results. So, instead of LPTA, why not try Lowest Cost, Technically Exceptional? This twist puts the impetus on the contractor to keep costs down and the "wow" factor up-- ultimately creating more value for the government's investment.