An Update on DAU OT Education
The cover memorandum to the issuance of the 2023 version of the OT Guide highlights the CCON 023 Other Transaction Authority (OTA) Credential that went live on October 31, 2022. The credential is comprised of five assets: an online course (CLC 066, which is in the process of being replaced with CON 0660 to focus on to Research OTs), CON 2880 a 2-hour virtual instructor-led overview of Prototype and Production OTs, a video on pricing OTs, a video on intellectual property issues in OTs, and CON 2990 a 2-day OT simulation and capstone experience. Although designated as a contracting credential (“CON”), the credential is open to all DOD employees and has a significant number of professionals outside the contracting cone enrolled.
Of note, the 2-day OT simulation (CON 2990) includes a Capstone project. In addition to other offerings, this is the type of experiential learning that Congress has identified as a need for OTs in 10 U.S.C. 4021(g). DAU can tailor the CON 2990 offering to a particular program (for example, bring your interdisciplinary team to the course and use the course time to plan for a specific OT opportunity), an individual’s scenario (that is, you may attend the course individually and use your OT problem to generate feedback from your peers and the instructors as part of the small group Capstone project), or generally lead a group of interested students through the process based on a DAU-provided scenario.
The DAU OT Team has shied away from the type of training that provides forms as a basis for structuring OTs or giving “if then” types of training. The Capstone experience gives students the ability to think creatively through and work with potentially differing approaches to solving a problem and to compare approaches based on lessons learned. Instructors are seasoned OT professionals coming from interdisciplinary backgrounds.
In addition to the courses, DAU continued its popular quarterly webinar series, OTA Today, addressing topics on consortia, the release of the Guide to Research Other Transactions and the updates to the OT Guide. DAU has also been hosting a monthly OT Huddle with topics relevant to DOD OT practitioners that offers an “office hours” component where attendees can ask questions and share lessons learned.
In response to the FY 23 NDAA Joint Explanatory Statement's comments encouraging DOD to invest in OT education for attorneys in addition to other members of the acquisition workforce, DAU is partnering with The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TGAGLCS) to host a monthly OT Counsel Corner that addresses issues facing the DOD legal community working with OTs. These sessions offer counsel as well as other members of the acquisition workforce an opportunity to meet others with expertise in the area as well as share their experiences. In addition to the nuts and bolts of practice law, the series has hosted speakers on broader issues such as Major Zach Thurber, an Air Force Judge Advocate who wrote his thesis, “It's Just a Contract: Maximizing the Use of Other Transaction Authority within the Department of Defense Through Education, Training, and Knowledge Management” and shared the results of his research with attendees. The DAU OT Team has also led and moderated sessions at the Advanced Contract Law Attorneys Course at TJAGLCS and worked collaboratively with other TJAGLCS presenters.
The periodic virtual opportunities complement DAU’s mission assistance work, where DAU’s OT Team provides consulting services for DOD components. The DAU OT Team has also taught OT sessions for courses aimed at logisticians as well as major weapons systems program managers and deputy program managers. DAU has taken Congress’ mandate to heart and is working to educate DOD management, technical and contracting personnel on the use of OTs.
The DAU OT Community of Practice page continues to add new features and functionality. Blog posts such as this one provide important content for DOD OT practitioners not found elsewhere. Learning opportunities are shared on the calendar, and this is becoming a “one stop shop” for finding helpful documents and information.
Thanks to all of you who have completed our surveys, dropped us emails and otherwise provided feedback and ideas for our programming. The DAU OT Team couldn’t do it without you!