REPORT SHOWS WHAT WE ALREADY KNEW: OTA USE IS GROWING, BUT RELATED DETAILS ARE SLIM
Surprise! Congress authorizes expanded use of an innovative, non-regulatory centered method of acquisition. The use of this tool explodes exponentially so DOD can meet critical missions. With fewer rules, though, there are fewer data sets to review. This is essentially the finding of a recent Congressional Research Service report issued on the use of Other Transaction Authority inside DOD. Oversight agencies are actually surprised that there is minimal paperwork to review when examining how OTA’s are used. That, ahem, was the basic idea. The existing DOD acquisition system was deemed too burdensome by both Pentagon leaders and Congress. OTA’s, which until recently existed at the edge of the federal acquisition universe, moved closer to the center. CRS estimates that OTA use at DOD has grown 650% from 2013. That’s a lot of innovative R&D to help the agency maintain its technology edge. More OTA use is on the way, with the Navy recently announcing plans on where and how this acquisition tool will be used. We’re not suggesting that everything is perfect on the OTA front, but no one can really criticize a streamlined, fast acquisition method for acting like a streamlined, fast acquisition method. Make sure OTA use is a discussion you have with your customers, even in civilian agencies.