Frank Kendall, former under secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, discusses the Pentagon’s efforts to educate acquisition professionals about when to use Other Transaction Authority.
Due to the increase in the use of Other Transaction Authority in acquisition contracts, the Department of Defense has written guidance for the method’s use. The guide goes into when and when not to use OTAs, and provides case studies for the contracts. Frank Kendall, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics and executive in residence at Renaissance Strategic Advisors, says that the guide makes it explicit that OTAs aren’t the answer to everything. “I think there’s also a rhetoric in the cocktail party circuit in Washington, if you will, that OTAs are a panacea. That they’re somehow going to magically transform acquisition. One thing the guide makes quite clear is they are not that. They’re still a contract, you still have to have lawyers involved, you still have a lot of terms and conditions that you have to negotiate. They don’t necessarily close faster, because you don’t have all the things that people are used to using. You have to go back and start over. What I think is happening in many cases is people are pulling clauses and inserting them into OTAs to get the coverage that they need.”