Acquisition Process
- Overview: Acquisition Process
- Overview: Procurement Process
- Pre-Phase A:Materiel Solution Analysis
- Phase A: Technology Development
- Phase B: EMD
- Phase C: Production & Deployment
- Phase C: Operations & Support
 
- Aquisition Category (ACAT)
- Acquisition Decision Memorandum
- Acquisition Plan
- Acquisition Phases
- Acquisition Program Baseline (APB)
- Acquisition Strategy
- Alternative Materiel Solution (AMS)
- Alternative System Review (ASR)
- Analysis of Alternatives (AoA)
- Capabilty Production Document (CPD)
- Critical Design Review (CDR)
- Defense Acquisition Board (DAB)
- Defense Acquisition Executive Summary (DAES) Report
- Disposal and Demilitarization Phase
- DoD Directive 5000.01
- DoD Instruction 5000.02
- DoD Space Acquisitions System
- Evolutionary Acquisition
- Exit /Entrance Criteria
- Fight Readiness Review (FRR)
- Full-Operational Capability (FOC)
- Full-Rate Production Decision Review
- Initegrated Baseline Review (IBR)
- In-Service Review (ISR)
- Initial Operational Capability (IOC)
- Initial Operational Test & Evaluation
- Live-Fire Test & Evaluation (LFT&E)
- Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)
- Major Automated Information System
- Major Defense Acquisition Program
- Major Reviews
- Materiel Development Decision (MDD)
- Milestone A
- Milestone B
- Milestone C
- Milestone Requirements Matrix
- Milestone Decision Authority (MDA)
- Milestone Overview
- NSS 03-01 - Space Regulation
- Operational Test Readiness Review
- Production & Deployment Phase
- Performance-Based Acquisitions
- Production Readiness Review (PRR)
- Preliminary Design Review (PDR)
- Selected Acquisition Report (SAR)
- System Functional Review (SFR)
- System Verification Review (SVR)
- Technology Development Strategy
- Test Readiness Review (TRR)
- Technology Readiness Assessment
Acquisition Process
Acquisition Category (ACAT)


The acquisition process divides acquisition programs into four (4) Acquisition Categories (ACAT): ACAT I, ACAT II, ACAT III, or ACAT IA. The difference between each categories is dependent on the location of a program in the Acquisition Process, funding amount for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), total procurement cost, Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) special interest and decision authority. 

The categories are listed below:

Acquisition
 Category
Reason for ACAT Designation Decision Authority
ACAT I ACAT I programs are defined as Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAP).

Cost Estimate to Exceed:

- Total Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) >= $480 Million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 dollars
- Total Procurement >= $2.790 Billion in FY Year 2014 dollars

Sub-Categories:
1. ACAT IC: For which the MDA is the DoD Component Head or, if delegated, the Component Acquisition Executive (CAE). The C refers to Component

2. ACAT ID: For which the MDA is USD (AT&L). The D refers to Defense Acquisition Board (DAB),which advises the USD (AT&L) at major decision points.
ACAT ID: DAE or as delegated

ACAT IC: Head of the DoD Component or, if delegated, the CAE (notfurther delegable)  
ACAT IA 1,2

ACAT IA are programs that are classified as Major Automated Information System (MAIS)3 designated by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) as:

Cost Estimated to Exceed:

  •  $40 million (FY 2014 constant dollars), for all increments, regardless of appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, and deployment, and incurred in any single fiscal year; or
  • $165 million (FY 2014 constant dollars), for all expenditures, for all increments, regardless of appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, and deployment, and incurred from the beginning of the Materiel Solution Analysis (MSA) Phase through deployment at all sites; or
  • $520 million (FY 20140 constant dollars) for all expenditures, for all increments, regardless of appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, deployment, operations and maintenance, and incurred from the beginning of the MSA phase through sustainment for the estimated useful life of the system
ACAT IAM: DAE or as delegated 

ACAT IAC: Head of the DoD Component or, if delegated, the CAE (not further delegable)
ACAT II Does not meet the criteria for ACAT I

Cost Estimated to Exceed:
- Total RDT&E >= $185 Million FY 2014 dollars
- Total Procurement cost >= $835 Million FY 2014 dollars
CAE or the individual designated by the CAE6
ACAT III ACAT III programs are defined as those acquisition programs that do not meet ACAT I or II criteria. Designated by the CAE6
ACAT IV (Navy and Marine Corps only) ACAT programs in the Navy and Marine Corps not otherwise designated as ACAT III are designated ACAT IV. There are two categories of ACAT IV programs: IVT (Test) and IVM (Monitor). ACAT IVT programs require Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) while ACAT IVM programs do not.  
1: The Special Interest designation is typically based on one or more of the following factors: technological complexity; congressional interest; a large commitment of resources; or the program is critical to the achievement of a capability or set of capabilities, part of a system of systems, or a joint program. Programs that already meet the MDAP and MAIS thresholds cannot be designated as Special Interest.

2: When a MAIS program also meets the definition of an MDAP, the DAE will be the MDA unless delegated to a DoD Component or other official. The DAE will designate the program as either a MAIS or an MDAP, and the Program Manager will manage the program consistent with the designation.

3: The MDA (either the DAE or, if delegated, the DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) or another designee) will designate MAIS programs as ACAT IAM or ACAT IAC. MAIS programs will not be designated as ACAT II.

4: AIS: A system of computer hardware, computer software, data or telecommunications that performs functions such as collecting, processing, storing, transmitting, and displaying information. Excluded are computer resources, both hardware and software, that are an integral part of a weapon or weapon system; used for highly sensitive classified programs (as determined by the Secretary of Defense); used for other highly sensitive information technology (IT) programs (as determined by the DoD CIO); or determined by the DAE or designee to be better overseen as a non-AIS program (e.g., a program with a low ratio of RDT&E funding to total program acquisition costs or that requires significant hardware development).

5: Acquisitions of services that satisfy or are expected to satisfy the definition of a MAIS in 10 U.S.C. 2445c, Reference (n), will comply with this instruction. All other acquisitions of services will comply with Enclosure 9 of DoD Instruction 5000.02 (Reference (b)).

6: As delegated by the Secretary of Defense or Secretary of the Military Department.

AcqLinks and References:
- DoD Instruction 5000.02 "Operation of the Defense Acquisition System" - Enclosure 1 - 26 Dec 2013
- DoD Directive 5000.01 "Defense Acquisition System" - 20 Nov 2007
- Website: DAU Gloassary - Acquisition Category
- Website: SECNAV Inst 5000.2E "Navy Acquisition Category"
- Tutorial: Acquisition Categories

 

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