Other Transactions (flexible contracting) can be applied to more than Acquisition

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Other Transactions (OTs) are flexible contracts that are intended to foster the business relationships needed to facilitate and deliver new and advanced technologies, innovative solutions, and to maximize investment in research and development (R&D). As flexible contracts, specifically for the purposes of R&D and delivering fruits for the benefit of the warfighter, society, and national dynamism, OTs can do more than simply acquisition. OTs can and have been used to tackle specific human resource issues and improve technology transfer among other things.

In this episode, we also discuss if federal acquisition bureaucracy should catch up with modern business philosophy that views large organizations like organisms versus a machine. It is surmised that the mechanistic approach, epitomized by federal acquisition, is too rigid to keep pace with rapid change. Conversely, flexible organic-like networks “ecosystems” and collaborative associations focused on common goals that are capable of quickly responding and adapting to selective pressures, are the ones who push change (evolution).

Additionally, it has been 30 years since OTs were first introduced and five years since congressional mandates directing the DoD to “develop a preference” and get educated. The DoD has made virtually no investment in developing expertise in these flexible contracting authorities. If we are being honest, there are no experts to conceptualize or understand their potential. This is an opportunity for a leader who chooses tho accept the challenge and the solutions waiting to be implemented.

  1. stan sansone

    interesting view of program manager and contracting officer.