WHAT IS AN OTA?
An “Other Transaction Agreement” or “Other Transaction Authority” (OTA) is a streamlined purchasing vehicle that brings innovative research findings and state-of-the-art prototypes from industry to the federal government. OT-based collaborations are not subject to some of the regulations that apply to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)-based acquisitions. OTAs enable fast acquisition of critically-needed technologies in areas as diverse as shipbuilding, armaments, satellites, medical devices, and electromagnetic spectrum technologies.
WHY DOES THE GOVERNMENT USE OTAs?
- Unlike the FAR, the OT-based consortium model allows government and industry to communicate more openly, from requirement generation to the proposal stage
- OTAs affords greater technology and prototype acquisition speed, getting solutions to end users sooner
- OTAs emphasizes engaging a diverse range of technology suppliers of all sizes, casting a wider net for capturing ideas and innovations
- OTAs enable faster contracting through long-term agreements between industry and Government that establish baseline terms and conditions (with the flexibility for negotiated modifications on a project-by-project basis)
The OT authority consortium enterprise is good government in action—the competition it promotes between large, traditional R&D providers, academic institutions, and small and nontraditional suppliers drives innovation across the entire US economy.
Open Communications = More Relevant Technology Solutions
THE BASKET PROVISION
The Basket Provision is another innovative acquisition tool that can be employed within OT-based Consortia. It is not uncommon for industry to propose technology development projects that cannot go forward due to a lack of available funding at the time the source selection decisions are made, despite being deemed valuable by the government. It is also possible that proposed technology development projects may be valid and approved, but not necessary to accomplish immediate government needs. In such cases, approved proposals can be held in an “electronic basket” for three years. This allows for a subsequent award of the previously-approved proposal in the event of emerging urgent needs, interest in the proposal by a different funding sponsor, end-of-year sweep-up funds or subsequent year funding availability. The provision also eliminates costly, time-consuming, start-from-scratch responses to new requirements or funding opportunities.
The basket provision benefits industry by:
- Increasing the chances that their proposal effort will not be in vain, even if it does not result in immediate work.
- Increasing the likelihood of business opportunities because government may turn to the basket for ways to invest available year-end, sweep-up funding.
It benefits Government by:
- Providing a meaningful, pre-vetted slate of projects for funding that arrives after initial source selection.
- Saving the time associated with duplication in the RPP and evaluation processes.
WHY DO I WANT TO JOIN?
Unlike the FAR, the OT-based consortium model allows government and industry to communicate more openly from requirement generation to the proposal stage; it affords greater technology and prototype acquisition speed, getting solutions to end-users sooner; and it emphasizes engaging a diverse range of technology suppliers by casting a wider net for capturing ideas and innovations.
Learn how to join BSTC here.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who should join?
Any company, university, or research organization with expertise in the technology areas specifically related to the BSTC mission.
What are the requirements and responsibilities of being a BSTC member?
Membership Obligations. The Parties agree that membership has the following obligations:
- Be a U.S. firm or institution organized or existing under the laws of the United States, its territories, or possessions. For the purposes of this Agreement, any agency or instrumentality of a foreign government and firms, institutions or business organizations that are owned or substantially controlled by foreign governments, firms, institutions or individuals, may only be considered for membership on a case-by-case basis through exception granted by the BSTC Executive Committee, with the concurrence of the relevant Government Program Office.
- If Applicant is a Corporation with subsidiaries or affiliates, Applicant’s membership will include its wholly-owned and controlled and majority-owned and controlled U.S. subsidiaries and affiliates who qualify as a U.S. person under the ITAR.
- Any other subsidiaries or affiliates may not participate in the BSTC unless and to the extent approved by the Executive Committee upon a request by the Government.
- Not be barred from contracting with or receiving funds from the United States Government;
- Clearly demonstrate in their membership application that they are capable of making a technical contribution to the advancement of border security related technology;
- Contribute their respective talents and resources to the BSTC for activities such as periodic meeting attendance, committee and subcommittee participation, and other activities as may be appropriate;
- Not transfer membership to any third party;
- Provide all cost and technical data as required in any BSTC solicitation to which it responds
- Abide by the terms of the Base Agreement.
Is there a cost to participate in BSTC?
There is an annual membership fee of $1,000 for large and mid-size businesses and $500 for all others (small businesses, academics, and nonprofits), which is renewed annually on January 1. Your initial membership dues will be pro-rated by quarter based on the effective date of your membership approval and then annually thereafter. The Award Assessment on BSTC Project Awards is 1.0% of the authorized contract value.
What Do Membership Dues and Project Award Assessments pay for?
Annual dues and project award assessments pay for consortium activities, such as but not limited to: consortium support, meeting costs and support, member application processing, membership management (“good standing” tracking, etc.), executing and managing the financial processes, dues and assessment invoicing and collection, communications efforts, business development and strategic planning efforts, maintaining public and private websites, and supporting any other subcontractors.
What is the definition of a nontraditional defense contractor and how to know if my company is one?
A nontraditional defense contractor means an entity that is not currently performing and has not performed, for at least the one-year period prior to the date of this application, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to section 1502 of title 41 and the regulations implementing such section.
For additional information on applicability of cost accounting standards, please click here.
How long will it take to get the membership application approved after a company submits?
Typically 1-2 days if the application is complete. If an application is incomplete, the Consortium Management Firm will reach out to the applicant to discuss any missing elements.