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As the military is exploring different acquisition methods, a strategy called “Other Transaction Authority” is quickly gaining traction.  OTA is a special process that allows the Department of Defense to […]

As the military is exploring different acquisition methods, a strategy called “Other Transaction Authority” is quickly gaining traction.  OTA is a special process that allows the Department of Defense to award acquisition contracts to companies providing experimental or prototype technologies, “Historically, it’s been around weapons systems and ordnance and that kind of thing,” said Stan Soloway, president and CEO of Celero Strategies. “The rule used to be that you could only go through to a prototype phase and then you came back under the federal acquisition regulation… but Congress has in the last few years provided some additional flexibility, and so now you can use the process further along.” OTAs have been used by DARPA and the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental to try and get business from nontraditional defense contractors, but according to Soloway, they aren’t the main thrust for the increased use of the authority. “We’ve gone from about $450 to 500 million per year in Other Transactions to over $2 billion last year,” said Soloway “What we’ve seen is the use of the authority, not only for traditional technology purposes, but also around business systems… Supply chain, artificial intelligence, data analytics, not directed at the fight itself, but more at the underlying business processes.”

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