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