New DOD Other Transactions Guide: A Retreat from Innovation

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The new (2023) Other Transactions Guide was waylaid by the DoD acquisition bureaucracy for a few years.  Now out, the new guide, as expected, reflects business-as-usual thinking and a desire to limit the potential of these flexible acquisition authorities before folks even bother to understand them.  The new guide contains misinformation, abolishes emphasis on smart interdisciplinary teaming and upfront problem-solving, and will serve to further narrow thinking… the Empire Strikes Back!

Creating workforce guidance (acting as policy), such as this, should be an intellectual and scholarly activity.  However, in this case, it appears, the bureaucrats sought to bring these flexible acquisition authorities to heel.  This guide, in a very real sense, represents a retreat from innovation, just at the time DoD needs to be charging toward it.   For those hoping for a ‘virtuous insurgency’ it is a kick in the teeth.  Now cliche, Other Transactions continue to be met with the same mindset that created the chronic and well documented problems in the first place, therefore most insider’s cannot see the forest for the trees.   When it comes to the business of taxpayer funded federal R&D activities, the paradigm has not shifted or even budged.  The DoD acquisition bureaucracy is very predictable, it’s always the same, prioritizing and preserving business-as-usual while ‘innovating’ incrementally at the fringes, equaling, one step forward and two steps back…


Government Contractor article:  New Other Transactions Guide: Retreating from Innovation