SAIC’s Jim Scanlon: Other Transaction Authority Offers Speed, Flexibility to Defense Contractors

Jim Scanlon
Jim Scanlon

Jim Scanlon, general manager of defense systems unit at Science Applications International Corp., said the use of other transaction authorities has helped SAIC and other companies speed up work on vehicles, weapon systems and other programs with the Department of Defense, the Washington Business Journal reported Friday.

“The experience has been very positive,” Scalon said Thursday at a Center Strategic and International Studies event. “For the type of work that we do, in terms of the speed and ability to engage folks outside [of government contracting], that speed and flexibility has its intended consequence. A reduction of some of the regulations gives you that flexibility to kind of focus on the things, the trades that you are trying to do, so it’s been very good.”

OTAs are contracts that allow agencies to bypass some conventional acquisition regulations to facilitate rapid prototyping of platforms.

Scanlon said OTAs also help SAIC to team up with nontraditional contractors like Polaris. SAIC worked with Polaris to develop an infantry squad vehicle prototype for the U.S. Army under an OTA.

“In the use of the OTA, it does force you to look at those nontraditional partners and to bring and pull technology forward,” he noted.

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