Other Transactions Contracts: Poorly Understood, Little Used

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 Full version of an article featured in National Defense Magazine      The good news – Congress has provided the Department of Defense with a cluster of legal authorities to conduct experimentation, research, development, prototyping, and production that can lead … Continued

Interview: Other Transactions – SOCOM University MacDill AFB

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Interview with Mr. Richard L. Dunn, Strategic Institute for Innovation in Government Contracting and Captain David Rothzeid, Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) about Other Transactions (OTs)   For more on Other Transactions attend The Future is Now! Fast and Affordable … Continued

 The Importance of Language in Government Business

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       You have come across a broad sea and landed on a beautiful tropical island.  Tanned people in scanty clothing come out to meet you and your sailors clothed in 15th Century European seamen’s attire.  You have discovered a … Continued

Avoiding a Fatal or Worst-Case Crash

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  This is not a DAU or contracting course lecture about going to jail if you don’t follow all the rules.  There is no FAR “jail” for contracting officers, much less program managers, who don’t follow the rules.  Contracting officers, … Continued

Prototypes for Readiness – Tapping Commercial Innovation to Improve Defense Readiness and Reduce Sustainment Costs

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The problem It’s no secret that DoD has an aviation readiness problem.  In September 2018, GAO reported that front line Air Force and Navy tactical aircraft were well below their operational availability goals and their operating and support costs were … Continued

Milestone Payments – Understanding a Powerful Technique

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  In discussing a topic like milestone payments, the aphorism, “OT’s are FAR out” should be kept in mind. It is easy to drift into FAR conceptual boxes. One of these is that contracts are structured either as cost-reimbursement or … Continued

Prize Authority – From Prize to What?

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  In selecting the right approach or right instrument to pursue innovation and find the pathway to a fielded capability, prize competitions under 10 U.S.C. 2374a are an under-utilized resource. Section 2374a is found in Chapter 139 of Title 10 … Continued

Leveraging Private Sector Investment for National Defense – Why Isn’t It Being Done?

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            Undersecretary of Defense (A&S) Ellen Lord recently came out with a statement focusing on “trusted investments” in innovative companies that have the potential to contribute to critical missions of interest to the Federal Government. Innovative … Continued

What Makes a Good OT Lawyer?

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  The Strategic Institute firmly believes that the Other Transactions (OT) Team is the most important part in a successful OT agreement.  The agreement’s success/failure can be directly related to how strongly the team embraces the “spirit” of OTs and … Continued

Other Transactions – Time to Ride!

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  Other Transactions authorities (OTs) are not just a tool, nor are they about process.  They are so much more and simpler than that.  These authorities are about freedom!  Freedom to think, freedom to experiment with different ways of doing … Continued

OTAs in Space: Excerpts from FAST SPACE – Air University white paper

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  “Simply having technology first does not ensure an enduring lead. While the United States was first to develop the airplane, only a year after the Wright Brothers demonstrated flight in Paris, the French ran away with the military application … Continued

Origins and Evolution of Other Transactions – Part 3

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written by Strategic Institute Staff “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Early on, OT authority and the first agreements were misunderstood; subject to poor reporting that resulted in false assumptions which were then accepted as accurate. … Continued

Consortia: The Lost Vision

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  First, don’t get me wrong. Other Transaction (OT) consortia as commonly practiced today are a welcome advance over business as usual. They serve a number of purposes from moving money quickly on to contract, to attracting non-traditional performers, and, … Continued

Where are the major defense contractors? Clarification or Confusion: Subsection (d) of 10 U.S.C. 2371b

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In 2000, an amendment to Other Transaction for Prototype Authority (then section 845, currently section 2371b, title 10, U.S. Code) was included in NDAA 2001 that added what is now a sub-section (d). The amendment was intended to provide clarity … Continued

Understanding Section 2373 – Quick Acquisition for Experimentation, Research and Testing

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  Organizations interested in innovation and flexible contracting should obtain delegations of authority for section 2373 of title 10, U.S. Code (purchases for experimental purposes) which while technically not using the language of other transactions is closely related in spirit … Continued

10 U.S.C. 2371 “Other Transactions”: Beyond TIA’s

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Written by Richard L. Dunn (July 2017)   Containing legal authorities in conceptual boxes that accommodate organizational structures and preexisting thinking is often bureaucratically convenient. It can also result in limitations that adversely affect mission accomplishment. The Technology Investment Agreement … Continued

Helping the “old think” Bureaucrats and Their Lawyers Get to Yes

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  Not infrequently government program managers and other acquisition professionals see an opportunity where some form of innovative contracting would expedite or enhance their mission. Sometimes they get a response lacking in knowledge and understanding, such as “Other Transactions are illegal.” … Continued

Twenty Years Ago — flexible and affordable contracting appreciated

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On May 27, 1997 Richard L. Dunn received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service for his work in innovative contracting. It read:   For exceptionally meritorious civilian service as General Counsel, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), … Continued

Agility in US National Security

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Even the world’s largest bureaucracy can learn to dance.  As the shift continues from the manufacturing economy of the industrial age to the digital economy of the information age, US national-security organizations need to transform as well. American military forces … Continued

Other Transactions in DoD, Not Business as Usual

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As government desires to expand the sources of innovative solutions for products or research capabilities that could be adapted to meet critical needs, thereby increasing the level of competition and innovation by accessing companies that have not traditionally done business with … Continued