Other Transaction Agreements (OTAs) have been all the rage in the federal acquisition community in 2018.
The acquisition instrument allows agencies to sidestep the Federal Acquisition Regulation and work with innovative companies that don’t normally do business with the government, and it can be developed with a speed that would make most contracting officers salivate — 60 days or less in some cases.
But like most trends, because it’s currently in vogue, it runs the risk of being dramatically overused. And acquisition officials from the departments of Defense and Homeland Security are concerned that the OTA’s innovative reputation could become as cool as cargo shorts if agencies abuse it.
“I think that’s the biggest risk,” Soraya Correa, DHS chief procurement officer, said Thursday. “That people use them properly, that we don’t overuse them, that we don’t abuse them, so they are around for the long haul. How I manage that is by making sure that we understand the authorities that we have been given, we really think about what that authority is for and then we educate.”
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