Defense Acquisitions: DoD's Use of Other Transactions for Prototype Projects Has Increased.


* The headline for this November GAO report shouldn't be a surprise to readers of this magazine. The employment of other transaction authority agreements to speed up the delivery of military items over the past couple of years has skyrocketed. About $7.2 billion was spent on OTA prototypes between 2016 and 2018, GAO stated.

The fact that members of Congress requested that the government watchdog review OTAs in this report is telling, as it shows they are interested in whether they are working as intended. Lawmakers will probably be looking for signs of abuse, and whether the lifting of restrictions they granted in 2015 results in high-quality items, or unusable junk.

One goal is being met, the report stated. OTAs are bringing nontraditional contractors into the defense fold. Companies that typically did not do business with the military participated to a significant extent in 88 percent of the transactions awarded since 2016, GAO found. The agreements allow companies to develop prototypes and go around the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which many nontraditional defense contractors...

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