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.

Template: Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD)

Guidelines: Preparing the Cost Analysis Requirements Description (CARD)

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).

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

Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG) 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

DoD Directive 5000.04, DoD Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG), Chapter 1, Aug 16, 2006, provides further guidelines for CARD content.

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/8/2018

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