Robert Tuohy, chief operating officer of Advanced Technology International, gives an industry-based view on the growing use of Other Transaction Authorities, and the pros and cons of using them.
Use of Other Transaction Authorities has exploded at the Defense Department. The contract vehicle, designed for cutting-edge and prototype technologies, allows the Pentagon to skirt the Federal Acquisition Regulation in certain cases. According to Robert Tuohy, chief operating officer of Advanced Technology International, contractors are very impressed with OTAs, particularly when it comes to communication. “I think the most powerful things OTAs allow you to do is the collaboration that can get done. In our case, we organized this consortia of nontraditional contractors, nonprofits and academia to address a problem. During the process, we can talk with the government and collaborate with the government all we want to make sure we get the requirement right,” Tuohy told Government Matters. “It is difficult to do under FAR-based acquisition rules. It is much easier to do in an OTA environment. And that allows some speed afterwards, because there’s a lot less wasted time trying to figure out what the requirement is. I think that’s why industry likes it.”