Federal Acquisitions: Use of 'Other Transaction' Agreements Limited and Mostly for Research and Development Activities, Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 525KB]

From the Highlights: "Federal agencies use a variety of acquisition and financial assistance mechanisms, such as contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements, to help meet their missions. Some federal agencies have received authorization to use other transaction agreements, which allow an agency to enter into agreements other than traditional mechanisms, such as contracts. As a result, agencies can customize their other transaction agreements to help meet project requirements and mission needs. As the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in May 2002, this authority carries risks, however, because such agreements may be exempt from the Federal Acquisition Regulation and other requirements that are intended to protect taxpayers' interests. GAO was asked to review federal agencies' use of other transaction authority. This report describes (1) which agencies are authorized to use other transaction agreements and the extent to which agencies have guidance to implement the authority, (2) why agencies used other transaction agreements and for what types of activities, and (3) the extent to which agencies used other transaction agreements for fiscal years 2010 through 2014. GAO reviewed statutory authorizations, agencies' guidance, and information on agencies' other transaction agreements and use for fiscal years 2010 through 2014, and interviewed officials from each of the agencies authorized to use other transaction agreements."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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