Financial Management

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD)

A Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) is used to formally describe the acquisition program for purposes of preparing both the DoD Component Cost Estimate and the Independent Cost Estimate (ICE) for Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and ACAT IA programs.

The CARD is a description of the technical and programmatic features of an acquisition program or system and is used to prepare the Program Office Estimate (POE), Component Cost Analysis (CCA), and independent Life-Cycle Cost Estimates (LCCE) for Acquisition Category (ACAT) I and IA programs. The CARD is provided in support of Milestone B, Milestone C, and Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR).  The CARD is prepared by the Program Management Office (PMO) and approved by the DoD Component Program Executive Officer (PEO).

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) Purpose

The purpose of the CARD is to describe the key elements of a program to include technical, programmatic, operational, and sustainment information so a cost estimate can be developed.

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) References

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) Requirement

REGULATORY:  Due any time an Independent Cost Estimate (ICE) or an Economic Analysis is required. [2]

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) Tables

CARD Tables are used in the development of the CARD and describe the key technical, programmatic, and operational characteristics of an acquisition program.  They help the CARD developer provides enough information to the cost estimator to develop the life-cycle cost estimate. The CADE website provides CARD Table templates that are very useful.

Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD) Outline: [1]

  • System description and characteristics
  • System suitability factors
    • Reliability/Maintainability/Availability
  • Predecessor and/or Reference System
  • PM’s assessment of program risk and risk mitigation measures
  • System operational concept
    • Organizational/unit structure
    • Basing and deployment description (peacetime, contingency, and wartime)
  • System sustainment concept
    • System logistics concept
      • Maintenance concept
      • Supply management concept
      • Transportation concept
    • Software maintenance concept
    • System training concept
  • Time-phased system quantity requirements
  • System manpower requirements
  • System activity rates (operating tempo or similar information)
  • Facilities requirements
  • Summary of security or program protection features
  • Summary of environment, safety, and occupational health considerations
  • System milestone schedule
  • Summary of acquisition plan or acquisition strategy
  • Plans for system disposal
  • Track to prior CARD
  • Approval or proposed CSDR plan

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/10/2021

Rank: G2.1

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