Cover: Assessing the Use of “Other Transactions” Authority for Prototype Projects

Assessing the Use of “Other Transactions” Authority for Prototype Projects

Published 2002

by Giles K. Smith, Jeffrey A. Drezner, Irving Lachow


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback51 pages $20.00

An extensive set of laws, regulations, and mandated procedures govern the procurement of new weapon systems and ensure that the Department of Defense receives good value for the money spent and that government interests are protected. Some firms, especially those developing innovative technologies for the commercial market, find those rules burdensome and often refuse to work for the government. This prevents government access to the latest advances in key technologies. Congress authorized use of Other Transactions (OT) in 1994 for the development of prototypes directly relevant to weapons or weapon systems so that contractors are not required to comply with procurement-specific laws and regulations. DoD asked RAND to assess the experience of such OT projects (started between 1994 and 1998), which yielded three conclusions: new industrial resources are now participating in DoD prototype projects; benefits of OT are broad; and some risks to the government are incurred. RAND researchers believe the immediate rewards substantially outweigh the risks and if the OT authority flexibility is removed, most if not all of the benefits observed would again becomeun available to DoD.

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND's National Security Research Division unit.

This report is part of the RAND documented briefing series. RAND documented briefings are based on research presented to a client, sponsor, or targeted audience in briefing format. Additional information is provided in the documented briefing in the form of the written narration accompanying the briefing charts. All RAND documented briefings undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity. However, they are not expected to be comprehensive and may present preliminary findings. Major research findings are published in the monograph series; supporting or preliminary research is published in the technical report series.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.