Just because apocryphal books live outside the Bible doesn’t mean you should never read them. And just because certain buying authorities live outside the Federal Acquisition Regulation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them.
The FAR covers a lot, but not everything, including, say Other Transaction Authority (OTA). OTA spending by the Defense Department is growing by triple digit rates, although it’s still a relatively small number. But it worries contractors. It came up repeatedly at this week’s Professional Services Council Vision 2018 conference. Kevin Fahey, the assistant secretary of Defense for acquisition, reassured the mostly vendor audience that “OTA use is not a get-out-acquisition-free pass.”
OTA has a little sister spawned by Section 804 of the 2016 Defense authorization bill. It gives DoD temporary authority to buy rapid prototyping and rapid fielding technologies — rapid, in the latter case, means within five years. The authority expires next September.
So for certain acquisitions, DoD has a lot of leeway to not use the FAR. Not total leeway, though — the government can’t just buy anything using the perceived convenience of OTA. The instrument is intended for prototype technologies and capabilities from non-traditional companies. For sure, those definitions leave a lot of leeway.
Keep reading this article at: https://federalnewsnetwork.com/tom-temin-commentary/2018/10/dod-says-ota-industry-says-oy/