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CSIS Report: Pentagon’s OTA Obligations Rose 75 Percent in FY 2019

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A Center for Strategic and International Studies report stated that the Department of Defense’s (DoD) other transaction authority (OTA) obligations have climbed 712 percent since fiscal year 2015 and increased from $4.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2018 to $7.7 billion in FY 2019, reflecting a 75 percent rise.

OTAs accounted for 18 percent of the department’s total research and development portfolio in FY 2019, up from just 3 percent in FY 2015, according to a report by Rhys McCormick, a fellow with the defense-industrial initiatives group at CSIS.

“The evidence suggests that there is a paradigm shift ongoing in DoD as OTAs have become a core element in DoD’s approach to technology acquisition over the last five years,” McCormick wrote in the brief. “This is clearly seen in the mid-to-late stages of the development pipeline for major weapon systems where OTAs are increasingly replacing contracts."

The report showed that five consortia represented 57 percent of total defense OTA obligations from FY 2015 to FY 2019. Those are Advanced Technology International, Analytic Services Inc., System of Systems Consortium, Consortium Management Group and the National Center for Manufacturing Services.

Army Contracting Command New Jersey emerged as the leading awarder of OTAs across DoD, accounting for 45 percent of the Pentagon’s OTA obligations in FY 2019.

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