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GAO: NASA, TSA Use ‘Other Transaction’ Agreements Outside RD&D, Prototypes

GAOThe Government Accountability Office reports that a majority of the 11 federal agencies authorized to use what GAO called “other transaction” agreements for contracting or financial assistance programs employed them sparingly from fiscal year 2010 to 2014.

GAO said in a report submitted Thursday to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) — ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — that most agencies utilized other transaction agreements for research, development and demonstration projects.

Agencies use other transaction agreements to customize certain project requirements and missions and those deals are generally not subject to federal laws and regulations on federal contracts or other financial assistance arrangements, GAO said.

Other agencies used them for prototype development, while NASA and the Transportation Security Administration applied them to activities outside RD&D and prototypes and thus had the larger number of other transaction agreements.

GAO noted that the 11 agencies believe the use of those agreements provides flexibility to address issues related to requirements in contracts and other traditional mechanisms.

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