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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Duvall

GAO Report: DoD Prototype OTAs Have Increased

On Friday, November 22, 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office ("GAO") published a report on the Department of Defense's ("DoD") use of prototype other transactions agreements ("OTA") from Fiscal Years ("FY") 2016 through 2018, including "the extent to which agreements officers followed established review processes before awarding selected transactions."

According to the report, DoD's use of prototype OTAs "significantly increased" both in terms of numbers of agreements and dollars spent. Specifically, GAO found that the U.S. Army awarded most of the OTAs and that "companies that typically did not do business with DOD participated to a significant extent on 88 percent of the transactions awarded during this time."

According to the report, the GAO data show the following increase in OTAs and obligations:

  • FY 2016​

  • New OTA Awards – 34

  • OTA Actions – 248*

  • Total Obligations – $1.4 billion

  • FY 2017

  • ​New OTA Awards – 87

  • OTA Actions – 297*

  • Total Obligations – $2.1 billion

  • FY 2018

  • ​New OTA Awards – 173

  • OTA Actions – 445*

  • Total Obligations – $3.7 billion

* Number of prototype OTA actions, including modifications and orders

Notably, GAO found that 97 percent of all new awards and actions were by the Army, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the Air Force. In addition, GAO found that most prototype OTAs involved at least one non-traditional company participated to a "significant extent" and that about "71 percent [or $5.1 billion] of the obligations were awarded to three consortiums and two traditional defense contractors."

  • Consortiums

  • Advanced Technology International

  • $3.5 billion

  • 49% of obligations

  • Consortium Management Group

  • $566 million

  • 8% of obligations

  • National Center for Manufacturing Sciences

  • $376 million

  • 5% of obligations

  • Traditional Defense Contractors

  • Lockheed Martin

  • $380 million

  • 5% of obligations

  • Aerojet Rocketdyne of DE

  • $297 million

  • 4% of obligations

  • Other Recipients

  • 258 recipients*

  • $2 billion

  • 29% of obligations

* Traditional defense contractors, non-traditional defense contractors, consortiums, and other entities

As the report confirms, DoD's use of prototype OTAs has increased drastically since FY 2016. With the flexibility and speed of OTAs (which are not FAR-based procurements), it doesn't appear that DoD's use of OTAs will slow down. For non-traditional defense contractors, the report is welcome news as it provides a glimpse into how and where DoD is using OTAs to achieve its mission.

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