International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management

An Assessment of the Role of Technical and Risk Evaluation Factors in Defense Source Selection Decisions Members Only Content

This article explores the use of technical and risk evaluation factors in formal source selections for complex military supplies and services. It describes the process used to develop evaluation criteria for source selections when expertise and technical approach are dominant concerns in the acquisition. Data were collected from 32 Air Force source selections. Chi-square tests and correlation values were used to assess the relationship between the application of the evaluation criteria and the source selection authority's decision. The research found that proposal ratings based on the criteria were correlated to the source selection decision in an expected and consistent way. Technical and risk evaluation factors exhibited high correlations to the award decision, while the cost factor was among the lowest. Based on the source selections studied, it appears that cost factors, and perhaps political factors, may not play the important roles in government source selections that some have claimed. At the very least, they did not appear to skew the process so as to achieve inconsistencies between the ratings and the award decisions for the source selections examined.

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