Acquisition Process

Milestone Decision Authority (MDA)

The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) is the overall executive sponsor responsible for any Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP).  The MDA formally initiates each increment of an evolutionary acquisition program as required by DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System”. They determine if a program has met its phase exit requirement and can proceed into the next phase during a Milestone review in terms of cost, schedule, and performance.  The Under Secretary of Defense (USD) (AT&L) is the MDA for all major Acquisition Category (ACAT) 1 program unless delegated. Program initiation may occur at Milestone B or C.

For MDAP at Milestone B, the MDA must certify in writing to Congress that the program is affordable and that the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE) concurs with reasonable cost and schedule estimates to execute the program development and production plans.

MDA Reviews: 

 The MDA is the approval authority for:

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 4/24/2021

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