The Numbers Games

posted in: Other Transactions | 2
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Practitioners or those otherwise interested in Other Transactions (OTs) should be aware of some numbers that impact the use of OT authorities. In a kind of slight of hand or trick Congress has redesignated the OT statutes recodifying them in title 10 U.S. Code. Thus, on December 27, 2021, sections 2371 and 2371b of the Code were amended with the enactment of NDAA 2022 (P.L. 117-81). Four days later changes made by NDAA 2021 (P.L. 116-238) a year earlier but with delayed implementation resulted in those statutes being moved from chapter 139 to a new chapter 302 of title 10. Former section 2371 becomes section 4002. Former section 2371b becomes section 4003 and section 2373 becomes section 4004. See New Life for Section 2371 for a summary of the changes to sections 2371 and 2371b.

For a while we will probably hear the new and old section numbers used interchangeably. Eventually the old designations will fall into disuse by a new generation of practitioners and even veterans of OTs will become comfortable with the new numbers. There are other OT numbers that have fallen into disuse which are much more important than just re-designations of sections of the U.S. Code.

There are two sets of other numbers that OT practitioners should know and care about. One set is 732 million and 1 billion. The other is 30 to 1. The first set of numbers relates to the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP) in which $732 million DOD dollars leverage over $1Billion in private investment in dual-use projects. The second set relates to the Commercial Operations and Support Savings Initiative (COSSI) where $100 million in R&D investment resulted in $3Billion in savings in O&M and procurement dollars!

There are numbers that should motivate DOD leaders to be mindful of the numbers generated by successful programs like TRP and COSSI. These include the rising national debt now measured in trillions of dollars. Other numbers include the high sustainment costs of vital weapons systems and the low operational availability rates of some key systems. Programs like TRP and COSSI can address problems that need to be solved. One might wonder, what kind of bureaucratic games led to such successful programs being abandoned?

Business as usual has gotten DOD and the military services to the present situation. New thinking and new approaches are needed. Some of the “new approaches” can involve reinventing things that worked in the past but were abandoned. Let’s stop the games and get serious about business process reform.

written by Richard L. Dunn

2 Responses

  1. Mack McKinney

    Mr. Dunn, you are spot-on! I will quote some of your excellent comments in an upcoming Linked In article on DOD acquisition reform. Please go to our website and click on the LinkedIn logo a the bottom of the page, then follow me on LI. I am writing a three–part article on how USG and defense contractors must work together to fix the current mess. We’ll need help from organizations like yours.

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