Areas of Focus
Other Transactions (OTs) are procurement instruments other than contracts, grants, or cooperative agreements enabling flexible business arrangements to acquire research and development to support technology advancement or to quickly develop a prototype. Many laws and regulations governing federal contracts do not apply to OTAs.
“OTAs have become increasingly central to the way the DOD invests in advanced technologies. They enable the Pentagon and a handful of federal civilian agencies to sidestep the standard procurement process for research and prototyping projects. Instead of issuing and reviewing multiple solicitations and requests for proposals over the course of several months, defense officials can issue OTA awards in a matter of weeks, based on as little as a supplier’s 10-page white paper.”
“In fiscal 2015, for instance, only $1 out of every $38 the Pentagon obligated toward R&D contracts flowed through an OTA. By the end of fiscal 2018, it had risen to $1 out of every $7. The Pentagon has encouraged OTA use in official guidance, including its June 2019 digital modernization strategy, which called on defense procurement officials to “leverage the power and agility” of OTAs to acquire new technologies faster.”
In DoD, Technology Development continues to shift towards OTAs and away from traditional acquisition approaches.