OTAs and Beyond: Scaling Innovation in Defense Contracting


As Eric Lofgren writes in his Federal News Network commentary OTAs and beyond: Scaling innovation in Defense contracting, "While OTAs are an important tool for defense contracting, many of the barriers to innovation are rooted in the culture of procurement. Substantial flexibilities already exist within the regulations and yet they are inadequately leveraged. That could spell bad news for the future of OTA adoption unless the culture question is addressed.

There are already signs that OTA growth may soon reach a crescendo. An analysis of OTA data at the lower levels gives some cause for concern. Of the 18 defense agencies funding non-COVID OTAs in 2020, seven decreased their OTA obligations in 2021."

In this timely, quick yet detailed article, Lofgren takes a tour of contracting processes to enable the acquisition innovation that everyone seeks: OTAs, unexplored flexibilities within the FAR, IDIQ's, and modular contracting.

Writes Lofgren, "Multiple-award IDIQs can have other features of OTAs. Awards under $25 million are not subject to bid protests. When using fixed-price tasks, they are exempt from the six business system requirements including for cost accounting. Moreover, intellectual property statute favors specially negotiated rights, and non-traditionals may receive commercial data rights without a commercial item determination."

This topic receives fuller description in the playbook co-written by Lofgren, "Acquisition Next: A Playbook to Break the Industrial Age Paradigm." [website and download]