The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) addresses Other Transaction Authorities (OTAs) in an attempt to increase oversight, transparency, and clarification on current rules, expand access for OTAs within the Cyber Security field, and increase focus on competition in OTA procurements.
To support increased oversight and transparency of OTAs, the Secretary of Defense will be required to notify the congressional defense committees of OTA contract awards within 15 days of an award with “a brief description of the research result, technology development, or prototype for which such procurement contract or other agreement, as applicable, was awarded.” This will be required for any award over $10 million.
The Secretary of Defense will also be required to establish procedures to better identify organizations performing on individual projects under OTAs for reporting to the congressional defense committee. Initial agreements will require the following information: all participants of the transaction, each business selected to perform work under the transaction, the date each participant entered the transaction, and the amount of the transaction. Follow-on contracts require less information but still need documentation of the initial covered contract and each subsequent follow-on contract, the contract awardee, the contract amount, and date awarded. This falls in line with the original goal of providing further transparency for OTAs and enhances the Secretary of Defense Office’s ability to keep track of OTAs on the organizational level.
In addition to the requirements discussed above, The Head of Covered Entities (i.e., the Government) must express measurable success criteria related to the transaction within 30 days of entering a covered transaction. The term ‘‘covered transaction’’ means a transaction, procurement, or project conducted and related to weapon systems and research on weapons systems. Based on the established success criteria, the Government must determine whether to “Discontinue,” “Retain and Extend,” or “Endorse and Refer” the project at the end of the period of performance. Once the Government makes their determination, further actions may be required depending on the decision to “Discontinue,” “Retain and Extend,” or “Endorse and Refer.”
The Secretary of Defense will ensure that covered entities who have entered into at least two covered transactions under an appropriate authority receive a determination based on the success criteria no later than September 30, 2023. Each transaction will be placed under the covered authorities Sections 2371, 2371b, 2373, and 2358 of title 10, United States Code which can be read here.
Full details on all of these changes can be found on house.gov starting on page 714.