Tradeoff Process

In the context of the Buy-Quiet Process Roadmap, the tradeoff process option allows the Requestor and Contracting Officer to consider the long-term cost of noise exposure of each offeror’s product along with the quoted purchase cost. Thus, products with varying noise emissions and costs may be compared in a quantitative manner. The tradeoff process is implemented by including the requirement in the specification and then using the Tradeoff Analysis to compare offers.

The Tradeoff Process is cited in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as one source selection approach that may be used to obtain best value in an acquisition where the importance of factors other than cost may play a greater or even dominant role in source selection.

From FAR 15.101 – Tradeoff Process external link

  • The relative importance of cost may vary with respect to technical performance or other factors. A tradeoff process is appropriate when it may be in the best interests of the Government to consider an award to other than the lowest-priced offeror or other than the offeror with the highest technical rating.
  • When using a tradeoff process, the following apply:
    1. 1. All evaluation factors and significant subfactors that will affect contract award and their relative importance shall be clearly stated in the solicitation; and
    2. 2. The solicitation shall state whether all evaluation factors other than cost or price, when combined, are significantly more important than, approximately equal to, or significantly less important than cost or price.
  • This process permits tradeoffs among cost or price and non-cost factors and allows the Government to accept other than the lowest priced proposal. The perceived benefits of the higher priced proposal shall merit the additional cost, and the rationale for tradeoffs must be documented in the file in accordance with 15.406.
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