Small businesses often lead the pack in innovation and agility, but cumbersome acquisition processes can stall the way forward when working with government agencies.
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) hopes to grease the skids between ingenuity and warfighters by offering a streamlined method for carrying out prototype projects and transitioning successes into follow-on production.
The Other Transaction Authority (OTA) methodology offers an alternative to the traditional rules outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) process. Congress officially implemented the OTA in 1994 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, Congress doubled the dollar thresholds of OTAs that required approvals. In addition, the definition of prototype was broadened to include an analysis, process improvement, hardware and software.
Scott Stewart, technical director, Procurement Services Directorate, DISA, understands that today’s innovators in revolutionary and disruptive technologies come from a sector of the economy that faces fewer restrictions in procurement regulations than those the federal government poses. As a result, DISA executes and enters into OTA agreements to leverage leading-edge technologies, while appreciating and accommodating the limitations of these market leaders, he explains.
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