According to the FAR 15.101-2, the lowest price technically acceptable source selection process is appropriate when best value is expected to result from selection of the technically acceptable proposal with the lowest evaluated price. This is a concept that is especially important when you're bidding on a federal contract.
When using the lowest price technically acceptable process, the following apply: The evaluation factors and significant sub-factors that establish the requirements of acceptability shall be set forth in the solicitation. Solicitations shall specify that award will be made on the basis of the lowest evaluated price of proposals meeting or exceeding the acceptability standards for non-cost factors.
If the contracting officer documents the file pursuant to 15.304, past performance need not be an evaluation factor in lowest price technically acceptable source selections. This means that previous past performance reports will not need to be taken into consideration when deciding the winner of a federal contract. If the contracting officer elects to consider past performance as an evaluation factor, it shall be evaluated in accordance with 15.305. However, the comparative assessment in 15.305 does not apply. If the contracting officer determines that a small business’ past performance is not acceptable, the matter shall be referred to the Small Business Administration for a Certificate of Competency determination, in accordance with the procedures contained in subpart 19.6. Trade offs will not be accepted and proposals must be evaluated for acceptability but not ranked using the non-cost/price factors.