The flexibility of OTAs makes it possible for the government and industry to use a single consortium management firm for all of their contracting and administrative needs—meaning government and industry can focus on building better technologies
You’ve already learned about how the government partners with an industry consortium through an OTA in Other Transaction 101. However, the benefits of an OTA are enhanced when the government and industry work with a consortium management firm.
Usually, the consortium management firm (CMF) handles the business operations of the consortium, dealing with all the contractual interactions needed to assemble project teams and dissolve them when the work is completed, taking care of contracting, payments, cost analyses, negotiations, IP issues, and all the other mundane tasks needed to enable the exciting prototype work. For the Government, this means the best of both worlds: the ease of one-stop shopping, coupled with easy access to innovations from flexible, as-needed industry teams.
The CMF can award projects one-by-one (as directed by the government), or it can use a streamlined approach where all Government contracting decisions are communicated through a single Agreements Officer to the CMF, which then places projects on award. In some OT-consortia, the consortium or CMF has very little involvement in technical/cost evaluation of project proposals. Others use non-Government subject matter experts to inform Government source selection bodies about the technical and/or commercial merit of project proposals submitted by consortium members.
Ultimately, allowing a CMF to take on some of the burdens of contracting meanings that the government can focus its time and resources on finding the technologies they need, and industry benefits from faster, simpler contracting.