An analysis of the Department of Defense's use of other transaction authority (10 U.S.C. 2371)
Stevens, Catherine L.
Yoder, E. Cory
Allen, Linda N.
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This research provides an analysis of the Department of Defense's historical and current use of Other Transaction (OT) authority as codified in Section 10 of United States Code (U.S.C.) 2371. The 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) made the OT for prototype authority permanent. Methodology includes reviews of available literature such as Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit reports, DOD Inspector General (IG) reports, and studies by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), research by the RAND institution, and Senate and House testimony. Interviews with three OT subject-matter experts (SMEs) provide valuable insight into the creation of the original language as well as legislative changes to OT authority. OT authority has allowed the DOD greater flexibility in working with commercial companies that have traditionally not worked with the federal government in research and development (R&D) efforts. OTs are not subject to the same laws and regulations that govern standard procurement contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements. Research shows that OTs can be a powerful instrument in advancing technology and innovation in R&D. It is imperative that the DOD continue to promote understanding of this unique authority in order to remain on the cutting edge of state-of-the-art technologies.
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