Other Transaction Authority: Flexibility at the Expense of Accountability? Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology of the Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Second Session, February 7, 2008 [open pdf - 293KB]
From the opening statement of James R. Langevin: "We are here today to consider the arguments for and against extending the Department's use of other transaction authority, which is scheduled to sunset in September 2008. Other transaction authority, abbreviated as OTA, was originally created to attract nontraditional commercial firms to do business with the Federal Government. Within that definition are those firms that either refuse or could not participate in such contractual agreements with the Federal Government. This authority is based on the premise that it is in the Federal Government's best interest to attract nontraditional contractors who are at the cutting edge of technology, which can lead to new homeland security or defense products that companies might not otherwise have adequate resources to invest in on their own. The Department of Homeland Security is one of several agencies, including NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and the Department of Health and Human Services, that use OTA. OTA applies only two types of awards at DHS. One award is known as other transactions for research, which are typically used for basic, applied or advanced research. This type of transaction does not call for a deliverable product but rather provides a support to broaden the homeland technology knowledge base. The other award is known as other transactions for prototypes, which are used to help the Department develop or acquire a prototype." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: James R. Langevin, Michael T. McCaul, Thomas W. Essig, Elaine Halchin, and John K. Needham.
Serial No. 110-92
Government Printing Office, Congressional Hearings: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/chearings/index.html