LaPlante Talks Cyber Forces Acquisition
The military wants to quickly get the new U.S. Cyber Command the training and tools it needs. Many feel that other transaction authority (OTA) contracts, which offer a way around the traditional acquisition process, may help get new tools into the hands of warfighters more quickly.
Despite being an attractive option to rapidly equip forces, these vehicles come with some risk. Industry officials acknowledge that OTAs were meant for prototyping, research and development and risk reduction for larger programs of record, not as a replacement for procuring large programs and platforms.
Interviewed for a recent article in Fifth Domain, LaPlante—senior vice president and general manager of MITRE’s National Security Sector—called the use of OTAs for actual development of production rather than prototyping “a dodgy area.” He cautioned the speed that OTAs promise could be offset by other factors, such as potential limits to competition and the possibility that mistakes could happen if budgeting, market research, and strategy is neglected. And, he said, OTAs raise the issue of who should act as the integrator for the disparate systems such a process might produce.