Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Question Answer
What types of contracts are used for Project Agreements? Can other types of contracts be used, such as Firm Fixed Price with Cost Plus Not to Exceed?

Project Agreements under the DA2 OTA are primarily Firm Fixed Price contracts (FFP); however, cost reimbursement contracts are available. Cost reimbursement type agreements include the following: Cost No Fee, Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF), cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF), and Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF).

FFP contracts minimize the amount of resources expended by the Consortium Member, DATC and the Government to administer the Agreement (contract). The cost type contracts will only be use if deemed necessary by the Government.

FFP contracts provide for a price that is not subject to adjustment due to the Project Agreement Holder's (PAH) cost experience in executing the project. Each Project Agreement is discussed and negotiated directly between the Government Customer and the selected Member during the Request for Project Proposal phase. This allows the Member to collaboratively determine the scope and price of the Project with the Government Customer. During the Proposal phase (prior to signing of a Project Agreement), a Consortium Member or the Government can elect not to pursue the Project if the terms and price are not mutually desirable. However, upon signing of the Project Agreement the Consortium Member (and Government) have agreed to the scope of work and price.

Question Answer
What is considered a 'prototype'? Is it hardware only?

There is no statutory definition of a "Prototype Project"; however, a prototype "can generally be described as a physical or virtual model used to evaluate the technical or manufacturing feasibility or military utility of a particular technology or process, concept, end item, or systems." In other words, prototypes can be hardware, software, processes or proofs of concept.

What is a 'non-traditional' defense contractor?

A "Non-traditional Defense Contractor" means an entity that is not currently performing, and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by the Department of Defense for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to section 1502 of title 41 and the regulations implementing such section.

Is my firm considered a nontraditional defense contractor (NDC)?

Who makes the final decision as to "non-traditional"?

The Government makes the final determination if a company is considered a "non-traditional" defense contractor.

What does 'significant' mean with regards to Non-Traditional Defense Contractor?

There is no statutory definition of "Significant Participation"; however, examples of what might be considered a significant contribution includes supplying new key technology or products, accomplishing a significant amount of the effort, or in some other way causing a material reduction in the cost or schedule or increase in performance. The Government will determine "significant participation" at the selection of White Paper stage to allow selected Consortium Members to evaluate early in the process whether they want to continue to pursue the project.

What is a CAGE code?

The Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code is a five-character ID number used extensively within the federal government, assigned by the Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). The CAGE code is used to support a variety of mechanized systems throughout the government and provides a standardized method of identifying a given legal entity at a specific location.

What is FEIN?

A FEIN is a Federal Tax ID, also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN). It is a nine-digit government tax ID. It is used to uniquely identify your business for tax purposes, business licenses, and accounts.

What is DUNS?

The D&B D-U-N-S® Number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses - Data Universal Number System.

It is free from Dun & Bradstreet at: dnb.com/duns-number.html

What is the definition of "Trade Secret"

The definition of "trade secret" in the CMA is part of a mandatory flow down from the OTA to the CMA and all sub agreements.

The definition of trade secret is broadly defined to protect DATC Member Entity trade secrets. The definition of trade secret in the CMA protects DATC Member Entities by allowing them to mark trade secrets and propriety information as the disclosing party. The definition protects DATC Member Entities by preventing trade secrets and other proprietary data which is properly marked with the appropriate legend from disclosure to third parties by the receiving party.

Question Answer
Does my company need a CAGE code when applying for DATC Membership? When will my company need to have a CAGE code?

Yes, each organization is required to have a CAGE code. If a company has conducted business with the U.S. Government, it should include their CAGE code on the DATC Membership Application. Companies that have not done prior business with the Government may submit the DATC Membership Application without the CAGE code and apply for one to include on their signed Consortium Membership Agreement. All companies are required to include their CAGE code when submitting the signed Consortium Member Agreement.

My company does not have a CAGE code; when does my company need one?

A Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code is required when submitting the signed DATC Consortium Member Agreement. General instructions on obtaining a CAGE code can be found at:fws.gov/international/pdf/sam-duns-registration-instructions.pdf

Does my company need a DUNS?

Yes, a Dun & Bradstreet Data Universal Number System (DUNS) is required. Also, a Federal Employer Identification (FEIN) and CAGE code are required to complete the DATC Consortium Membership Agreement.

More information can be found at: dnb.com/duns-number.html

Will the Government "direct, sole source" projects through DATC?

Generally, no, since the objective of the DATC is to provide an equal, competitive environment for all Members seeking to participate in projects. All Members will be able to respond to all Requests for White Papers. From time to time, the Government may direct a Project Award to a single (or group) of Consortium Member(s), but only after thorough market analysis and technical review. If the Government elects to transition a Project to production that is directed, sole sourced, the Project is required to be competitively bid per Federal Acquisition Regulation procedures.

What is the National Center for Manufacturing Services (NCMS) role with DATC?

NCMS provides OTA administration support for DATC's White Paper, Proposal and Project processes.

When will projects become available?

The Government is constantly working to identify appropriate prototype projects. There is no established timeframe for when projects will be released.

The DA2 OTA is unique in that it is operated on a "just in time" process, allowing immediate initiation of projects as needs are identified.

Can an award span more than 1 year? Yes, the duration of a project can span more than 1 year.
Is this a pre-planned annual award process or an Ad-Hoc ('as needed') process?

DATC uses a "just in time" process not an "annual award" process. This "just in time" process allows for DATC Members to provide White Papers (and Proposals) immediately as projects with funding are identified at any point throughout the year.

Can a requirement be identified and awarded in the same year?

Yes, a requirement/need can be identified and awarded in the same year. DATC uses a "just in time" process, allowing DATC Members to provide White Papers (and Proposals) immediately as soon as projects with funding are identified at any point throughout the year.

Who has access to view White Paper and Project Proposal submissions from DATC Members?

Only the Government, DATC staff, and specific NCMS staff on contract to administer the OTA process have visibility to White Papers and Proposals. All submitted White Papers and Proposals are treated as confidential information and are not shared with other DATC Members or other Parties.

How will GVSC become aware of Consortium member capabilities?

DATC is required to inform the Government of Consortium Membership on a quarterly basis enabling Government to investigate the capabilities of Consortium Members. DATC is also developing other methods of educating government customers and potential government customers of the capabilities of consortium members.

Could Projects be classified programs and if so, what is the process for organizations to participate in classified projects?

Yes, some projects may be classified programs. The Government will identify projects requiring use of classified data at the onset (at Request for White Paper step). This provides Members with adequate information early in the process to determine if they want to respond (or not), since these types of projects would require additional steps and resources.

Classified programs require the close involvement of the Government's security staff to assess and approve Consortium Members for access and control of classified data. The process requires background checks on individuals, firms or organizations that would handle the classified data. If a firm currently has access to data at a given level, the process is straight forward in that their status is verified and the data is approved for transfer. For an unsecured individual or firm, the process of performing the background investigation can be lengthy, spanning several months (6 to 9) for an individual and much longer for a firm (especially a foreign-owned firm).

Why use a 'Consortium model?'

The Consortium model serves as a focal point for the Government facilitating collaboration between members and the government. A consortium also provides the competitive environment required by the Government.

How much is the DATC membership fee?

DATC's annual dues are $1,000 per company/university.

What options are there to pay the DATC membership fee?

Membership fees can be paid for by check, bank transfer or credit card.

Does DATC have any affiliation with the other OTA Agreements with other Consortia?

DATC supports only the Detroit Arsenal Automotive (DA2) OTA and is not affiliated with other Consortia holding other OTAs.

How can I obtain a membership application and more information about DATC?

The DATC Membership Application and more information is available at http://datc.saeitc.org/membership/

How many classified projects are anticipated?

The number of classified projects is anticipated to be low. Since the intention of using an OTA is to draw upon the innovations developed by industry and evaluate the emerging commercial technology for application in Government vehicles. Per the DA2 OTA, the Government will identify any classified projects and requirements in advance allowing Consortium Members to assess if they want to pursue providing a solution early in the process.

Will projects involve compliance with Export Administration Control Regulations (EARS) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR)?

Yes, compliance to EARS and ITAR is required. An OTA is a streamlined contracting instrument and does not afford any deviations to the protection of the Government's classified information. Any firm large or small must comply with US regulations and laws, no matter the level of effort. Both the Government and DATC realize that complying with Export Controls (EARS and ITAR) will take more resources. Hence, the OTA was specifically written requiring the Government to identify projects requiring Export Control at the onset (at Request for White Paper step). This provides Consortium Members with adequate information early in the process to determine if they want to respond, since these types of projects would require additional steps and resources.

If we are a small business but also a traditional defense contractor, are we required to do cost sharing?

Being a small company is not a consideration in the definition of a non-traditional defense contractor. Hence, a traditional defense contractor is required to provide 1/3 cost share.

A "Non-traditional Defense Contractor" means an entity that is not currently performing, and has not performed, for at least the one-year period preceding the solicitation of sources by the Department of Defense for the procurement or transaction, any contract or subcontract for the Department of Defense that is subject to full coverage under the cost accounting standards prescribed pursuant to section 1502 of title 41 and the regulations implementing such section.

Question Answer
What does 'IP negotiable' mean?

DATC has negotiated baseline data rights and copyrights specifically for Consortium members. These baseline data right terms make for efficient Project solicitation, evaluation and award. However, the DA2 OTA very clearly allows a Consortium Member or the Government to negotiate their own desired rights for each individual Project.

Question Answer
What criteria must a company meet to be a DATC member?

DATC Membership is open to all organizations—non-traditional and traditional defense contractors. Members must also meet these criteria:

  • Possess technology expertise in one or more of the identified technology objective areas
  • Are not be on Department of Defense suspended or debarred contractor list
What could preclude a company from participation in the Consortium?

A company is not eligible if it is on the US Government debarred or suspend list.

If my organization has multiple divisions and subsidiaries, does each group have to be a member?

No, only one division or subsidiary needs to be a DATC member for all the divisions or subsidiaries to be members. However, if any of the subsidiaries are "separately incorporated", they will have to have their own, separate DATC membership. Only two points of contact are allowed per member.

Can "traditional" defense contractors participate in an OTA?

Yes, traditional defense contractors can be DATC Members and participate in Projects. Traditional defense contractors are subject to a 1/3 cost share of the project.

The cost share may be waived if the traditional contractor partners with a non-traditional defense contractor that provides significant participation.

Does DATC add its cost on top of the member invoice or does it take a percentage of invoice?

No, DATC does not add a cost on top of the Consortium Members Project invoice or take a percent of the invoice. DATC is paid an administration and management fee which is a percentage of the total Project Award. The Administration and Management fee does not affect the price of the Project awarded to Consortium Members.

The DATC website states it provides "access," and "enhanced visibility" to the Government's needs. Is DATC a match-making venue?

In some respects, DATC is a match-making venue. Through the OTA between the Government and DATC, Consortium Members have access to Government prototype projects that non-members do not have access to, thus offering Consortium Members the opportunity to match their capabilities to Government prototype projects.

Who reviews and approves the membership application?

The DATC Executive Director reviews and approves Membership Applications.

Can a member of the consortium use a sub-tier/subcontractor entity (other company, university, etc.) that is not part of the consortium?

All entities submitting a white paper or a proposal need to be DATC members. DATC members using sub-contractors (or sub tier suppliers), are required to identify those subcontractors they believe will be engage in the Project in the White Paper step. If the DATC member is selected, all subcontractors are required to be identified in the Project Proposal and all of them have to become DATC members prior to the contract award.

NOTE: If a DATC member is ONLY purchasing an off the shelf item from a subcontractor, that subcontractor is not required to be a DATC member.

Is there a 'cooling off' period, or period after a membership application is accepted before a company can participate on a project?

As soon as a Membership Application is received, the prospective member is sent a copy of the DATC Consortium Membership Agreement (CMA) and the DA2 OTA for review and signature. A company can participate as soon as a signed Consortium Member Agreement (CMA) and payment of annual dues are received by DATC.

What type of companies are eligible to join DATC? Is it limited to automotive market or the defense market, or both?

DATC is open to all companies, including the automotive and defense markets. DATC is open to any company that has technology that enhances the capabilities of ground vehicles (manned and unmanned).

My organization is based in a foreign country, are there any limitations to the types of projects my organization may participate in?

There may be certain projects that include classified or For Official Use Only (FOUO) information that may restrict participation of a foreign based organization in a project.

How does DATC get reimbursed for its work to support the Consortium?

For DATC to support the Consortium and remain sustainable, DATC has two revenue streams.

  1. DATC collects annual membership dues ($1000 per year per member) and
  2. DATC receives an "Administrative and Management fee" from the Government. This fee is a percentage of the awarded project amount. Since DATC's fee is paid by the Government Customer it does not affect the price of the Project Amount awarded to a Member.
Can a DATC member entity resell its products to and through DATC?

DATC is a consortium established pursuant to the Detroit Arsenal Automotive (DA2) OTA Program, OTA Agreement Number W56HZV-16-9-0001. Pursuant to the OTA, DATC was created as a gateway between the government and the automotive industry to establish competition for OTA Prototype projects.

DATC will not be a purchaser of products, and therefore will not enter into a separate reseller agreement. DATC member entities will determine whether and how they will purchase products from each other and the government will determine whether and how it will purchase products related to prototypes it receives through OTA Project Agreements.

Question Answer
What is an 'Other Transaction Authority Agreement?'

"Other Transactions" for prototype projects are acquisition instruments that are not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), its supplements, or laws that are limited in applicability to procurement contracts.

Several traditional mechanisms are available to carry out federal agencies' acquisition and financial assistance activities. These include contracts, financial assistance mechanisms such as grants and cooperative agreements, and cooperative research and development agreements. In addition to these authorities, Congress established an "other transaction authority" for certain agencies through separate legislation. Under these authorities, agencies may develop agreements that are not required to follow a standard format or include terms and conditions that are typically required when using traditional mechanisms.

The OTA acquisition authority, when used selectively, is a vital tool that will help the Department achieve the civil and military integration that is critical to reducing the cost of defense systems.

What are the benefits of OTA for Government?

An OTA is considered a vital tool to help the Government evaluate commercial technologies useful for improving their vehicles; benefits include:

  • Ability to engage non-traditional companies for innovation and technological solutions
  • Accessibility to breakthrough technologies
  • Facilitates collaboration with government, industry and academic SMEs
  • Provides government greater insight into what is technologically feasible
  • Facilitates teaming among traditional and non-traditional defense companies
  • Simplifies & accelerates getting technology development projects under contract
  • Allows government technical staff to focus on technology, not contracting
  • Reduction in the government's procurement costs, in both dollars and time
  • Supports government's efforts to advance interoperability, open architecture, and other vehicle-related technology standards
What is DA2?

DA2 stands for Detroit Arsenal Automotive. The DA2 OTA is an agreement between the Government via the Army Contracting Command Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA). The Agreement is sponsored by GVSC.

What are the DA2 OTA's Technology Objective areas?

Cyber Security
Vehicle Safety
Autonomous & Intelligent Vehicle Systems
Vehicle Light Weighting
Connected Vehicles
Advanced Energy Storage
Propulsion Technologies
Active Suspension Technologies

Since audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) are not required under an OTA, what kind of oversight is there and who does it?

The DA2 OTA and the DATC Consortium Membership Agreement spell out oversight and responsibilities of all parties - Consortium Members, DATC and the Government. Essentially, the Army Contracting Command Detroit Arsenal (ACC-DTA) provides Government acquisition services including oversight with DATC as the prime contractor and Consortium Members are sub-contractors for individual Projects.

Is GVSC the only agency that can use the DA2 OTA to fund prototype projects? How does it work if another agency or department wants to use the DA2 OTA to fund projects?

Other Government agencies can use the DA2 OTA; it is not limited to GVSC and the DOD.

All other government agencies can direct their projects and associated funding through this OTA. The GVSC Program Manager will coordinate with the other Government agencies establishing interagency agreements. All DATC Members working with Government agencies are encouraged to make their agency contacts aware of the DA2 OTA.

How is the 'competitive bid' requirement satisfied under an OTA?

The Request for White Paper is distributed to all Consortium Members thus allowing competition to the maximum practicable.

What are benefits of OTA for companies?

There are many benefits afforded by an OTA for companies wishing to do business with Government; benefits include:

  • Relief from Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)
  • Intellectual property is negotiable
  • Flexible payment provisions
  • No mandatory cost accounting/reporting required
  • No certified cost and pricing data required
  • Use of commercial standards
What is benefit of the consortium model?
  • Facilitates business and government relationships
  • Allows for government and industry to communicate in one forum
  • Provides better insight into government and industry needs, priorities and challenges
  • Open communication between government customer and Consortium membership
  • Government and members negotiate Statement of Work, data rights and price for individual projects
  • Maintains effective competition
  • Provides for early fund obligation
What is the source of OTA project funding?

An OTA is a contracting instrument available to Government agencies to use to rapidly acquire prototypes. Funds are budgeted and approved as part of each Agency's budget. Any Government agency can use the DA2 OTA; this is a unique feature of the DA2 OTA as it is not limited to the DOD only.

What types of projects can be funded under DA2 OTA?

Projects that can be funded under the DA2 OTA will be prototype projects that are directly relevant to the eight technology areas in the DA2 OTA and enhance the effectiveness of personnel or improve the supporting platforms, systems, components, or materials proposed to be acquired or developed by government agencies.

What makes the DA2 OTA different from other OTAs?

There are several features of the DA2 OTA that make it unique among OTAs:

  1. White Paper solicitations will be limited to projects with identified funding. Only funded projects will be offered to Consortium Members.
  2. Projects will be offered on an "as needed basis" (Ad-Hoc) to address emerging requirements and not on an annual cycle.
  3. Available to all Government Agencies and not limited to just DoD requirements
  4. Focus is on broad emerging automotive technologies
  5. Collaborative, rapid and flexible approaches will be used to define and clarify project scopes of work and schedules
  6. Feedback will be provided to Consortium Members not selected for a project
  7. Simplified baseline data rights and copyrights are defined with clear language that allows the negotiation of data rights and copyrights for each project
Why has the US Government established "Other Transactions Agreements"?

It is in the US Government's interest to tap into the research and development being accomplished by nontraditional defense contractors, and to pursue commercial solutions to defense requirements. "Other Transactions" for prototype projects are acquisition instruments that are not subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), its supplements, or laws that are limited in applicability to procurement contracts. Use of an OTA provides for aggressive, streamlined acquisition between the Government and industry, allowing for rapid prototyping and production which results in an overall reduction in resources and costs.

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