Use of Other Transaction Authority by agency acquisition shops

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Alan Chvotkin, executive VP & counsel at the Professional Services Council, discusses the challenges to Other Transaction Authority from the Government Accountability Office, and how it could impact future acquisitions.


The Pentagon’s use of Other Transaction Authority has become a popular method of obtaining acquisition contracts quickly, but it isn’t without it’s issues. Recently, the Government Accountability Office sustained a protest against OTA use for cloud services. GAO told the Pentagon that they should have gone through the normal acquisition process. Alan Chvotkin, executive VP & counsel at the Professional Services Council, said that GAO claiming jurisdiction over this area is an important takeaway from this case.

 

“The GAO took jurisdiction itself. The transactions were designed to be circled around the procurement process, many viewed them as [a] get out of protest jail free card. GAO said, we’ll take jurisdiction to look at it. Secondly, the protester [Oracle] had standing to bring the protest… even though Oracle did not compete for that particular award,” Chvotkin told Government Matters. “They said, had the Department of Defense followed the rules and shared which way it was going in advance, more companies could have been on it and therefore they were an interested party, in legal terms in order to bring the award.”