Jay, I have worked for the US DoD for nearly 46 years, first in uniform - then as a defense contractor, culminating as a V.P. for the 5th (formerly the 4th) largest in the world. Your article was GREAT, with the pinnacle quote being: “Mere mortals may not fully understand all the evaluation factors.” In full fact, this is an understatement.
Despite all the regulations, laws, and policies to the contrary, the government almost always finds a way to buy from vendors it “wants” - not those it “should”. Sometimes (almost seems at random), the “should” and “wants” coincide - in which case the government and tax payers win.
Often, “wants” and “should” conflict, in which cases evaluations are distorted, “value adds” are ignored, technical criteria are unevenly applied, price realism and price reasonableness (two separate criteria) are treated with salutary neglect, and the “wants” win the contract. In my experience, when that happens, the vendor wins and tax payers loose at least 8 times out of 10.