The past several years have seen a burgeoning interest in Other Transactions Authority (OTA) as the Department of Defense (DoD) and other agencies seek to do more business with innovative commercial firms and sidestep inefficiencies and constraints associated with traditional procurement contracting under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). In many respects, Other Transactions provide incredible flexibility, allowing the parties to negotiate terms and conditions that are unheard of in traditional procurement contracting and may serve to attract commercial firms that would not otherwise do business with the government. Yet, Other Transactions are still fundamentally contract with the federal government, and principles of sovereign immunity, separation of powers, and the federal common law of contracts ensure that doing business with the federal government, even by “Other Transaction,” is never quite the same as doing business in the commercial market.
It is critical for lawyers dealing with Other Transactions to understand (1) the implications of stripping away traditional procurement rules, and (2) the foundational laws that apply to all government contracts, including Other Transactions. After providing context for the current interest in OTA, this program will address four discrete areas of interest—IP, authority, disputes, and protests. In each area, the program will discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of removing the traditional procurement contracting rules, while also identifying the foundational rules of government contracting that will apply.
Nathan Castellano is an associate in the Government Contracts and National Security practice group of Arnold & Porter, where he advises clients on all aspects of doing business with and litigating against the Federal Government. Relevant to this program, he has advised traditional and nontraditional contractors alike on the use and negotiation of Other Transactions and has litigated issues relating to Other Transactions and non-procurement contracts in the Court of Federal Claims and U.S. district court. His experience also includes bid protests and contract disputes; non-traditional contracting vehicles; Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) matters; intellectual property issues including data rights and the SBIR program; small business and other set-aside programs; and general contract and grant compliance counseling.
Nathan is a widely published author of topics on procurement law and policy, with articles cited in leading treatises and used as course material. Nathan studied procurement law extensively at the George Washington University Law School, working as a research assistant to Professor Steven Schooner and graduating as a Murray Schooner Procurement Scholar. Prior to joining Arnold & Porter, he clerked for the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and worked as a legal consultant in the World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment.