In this episode Strategic Institute discusses the most common question we hear from federal contracting personnel… How do I do an Other Transactions Agreement? Unlike the traditional system based on the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), Other Transactions (OTs) have no plug-n-play option, there is no cut-n-paste, and that’s the point. OTs are FAR out & OTs make you think. OTs are flexible contracts that allow for a variety of (different and exciting) acquisition approaches for federal R&D, prototyping, and delivering new capability.The aim is to practice excellence in business by approaching programs and projects on an individual basis to ensure the development of the best strategy to accomplish mission goals. Therefore cutting and pasting, and mindlessly throwing unnecessary clauses into contracts should be shunned by program teams. This is a major sticking point, as most contracting personnel schooled in the traditional system, where the stated priority is to ensure compliance with the myriad of bureaucratically constructed rules, can find it next to impossible to operate in a ‘freedom of contract’ and creative environments. So difficult is this task, that OTs purposefully do not require a warranted Contracting Officer, instead they favor program managers (program teams) with the assistance of legal personnel to take the lead and obligate the government, instead of relying on the contracting office.
“It is difficult to get a person to understand something which their salary depends on not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair
While there are no fill-in-the-blank options for OTs, there are many lessons learned, templates, resources and education, and even a small, but growing, community of practice in which to share information.