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Acquisition Process

2366a Written Determination

 

10 U.S. Code § 2366a – MDAP: Certification Required before Milestone A Approval

A 2366a Written Determination is issued by a Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for a Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) stating that it has met all regulatory requirements according to 10 U.S.C. 2366a.  An MDAP may not receive Milestone A approval until the MDA certifies that: [1]

  1. That the program fulfills an approved Initial Capabilities Document (ICD);
  2. That the program is being executed by an entity with a relevant function as identified by the Secretary of Defense under section 118b of 10 U.S.C. 2366ab;
  3. If the program duplicates a capability already provided by an existing system, the duplication provided by such program is necessary and appropriate;
  4. That a determination of the applicability of core logistics capabilities requirements has been made;
  5. That an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) has been performed consistent with study guidance developed by the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (DCAPE); and
  6. That a cost estimate for the program has been submitted, with the concurrence of the DCAPE, and that the level of resources required to develop, procure, and sustain the program is consistent with the priority level assigned by the Joint Requirements Oversight Council (JROC).

 

Template: Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM) – MS A

 

Template: Air Force Section2366a Template

 

Congress Notification [1]

  • Projected cost of the program or subprogram, at any time prior to Milestone B approval, exceeds the cost estimate for the program submitted at the time of the certification by at least 25 percent, or
  • Program Manager (PM) determines that the period of time required for the delivery of an initial operational capability is likely to exceed the schedule objective by more than 25 percent, the program manager for the program concerned shall notify the Milestone Decision Authority.
  • Report due to Congress not later than 30 days after a program manager submits a notification to the MDA that a program meets or exceeds the above two criteria.

The MDA may withdraw the certification concerned or rescind Milestone A approval if they determine that such action is in the interest of national defense. [1]

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 5/21/2018

Acquisition Process

2366b Certification and Determination

 

10 U.S. Code § 2366b – MDAP: Certification Required before Milestone B Approval

A Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) may not receive a Milestone B approval until the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) certifies, without modification, from 10 USC 2366b of title 10, United States Code (USC) and as amended by Public Law 111-23, “Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act of 2009″, May 2009, that: [2]

  1. The MDA has received a Business Case Analysis and certifies on the basis of the analysis that:
    • the program is affordable when considering the ability of the Department of Defense (DoD) to accomplish the program’s mission using alternative systems;
    • appropriate tradeoffs among cost, schedule, and performance objectives have been made to ensure that the program is affordable when considering the per unit cost and total acquisition cost in the context of the total resources available during the period covered by the future-years defense program submitted during the fiscal year in which the certification is made;
    • reasonable cost and schedule estimates have been developed to execute, with the concurrence of the Director of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE), the product development and production plan under the program;
    • funding is available to execute the product development and production plan under the program, through the period covered by the future-years defense program submitted during the fiscal year in which the certification is made, consistent with the estimates described for the program; and
  2. The MDA has received the results of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and conducted a formal post-preliminary design review assessment, and certify on the basis of such assessment that the program demonstrates a high likelihood of accomplishing its intended mission; and
  3. The MDA certifies that:
    • appropriate Market Research has been conducted prior to technology development to reduce duplication of existing technology and products:
    • the DoD has completed an Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) with respect to the program;
    • the Joint Requirements Oversight Council has accomplished its duties with respect to the program pursuant to section 181(b) of Title 10 United States Code, including an analysis of the Operational Requirements for the program;
    • the technology in the program has been demonstrated in a relevant environment as determined by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) on the basis of an independent review and assessment by the director of Defense Research and Engineering; and the program complies with all relevant policies, regulations, and directives of the DoD.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 4/09/2018

Acquisition Process

Milestone Overview

 

Milestones are a point in time where a recommendation is made to the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) about starting or continuing an acquisition program into the next Acquisition Phase.  The milestones and Milestone Requirements are established by DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System”. The milestones are represented by triangles (Δ) with the letters A, B, or C inside them in the figure below.
Acquisition System

 View: Milestone Requirements Matrix


Milestone A
The goal of Milestone A (MS A) is to determine if a program has met all its exit requirements of the Materiel Solutions Analysis (MSA) Phase to proceed into Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase.  The Exit Criteria are determined by the MDA and the Acquisition Category (ACAT) level.  A few of the common requirements are:

 

Milestone B
The goal of Milestone B (MS B) is to determine if a program has met all its exit requirements of the Technology Maturation & Risk Reduction (TD) Phase to proceed into the Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) Phase.  The exit requirements are determined by the MDA and the ACAT level.  A few of the common requirements are:

 

Milestone C 
The goal of Milestone C (MS C) is to determine if a program has met all its Exit Criteria of the EMD Phase to proceed into Production and Deployment (PD) Phase.  The exit requirements are determined by the MDA and the ACAT level.  A few of the common requirements are:

 

AcqTips:

  • A complete list of statutory requirements by ACAT is located in DoDI 5000.2 in Enclosure 4. The exit criteria is developed by the program manager and key Stakeholders at the beginning of each phase and approved by the MDA.  In order for any program to be successful, all exit criteria must be defined, understood and agreed upon by all stakeholders.  Failure to do so will cause cost and schedule delays.  The Exit Criteria should be located in the Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM), program management plan and executive summary.  

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/7/2018

Acquisition Process

Market Research

 

Market Research (FAR Part 10) is conducted to determine the availability of commercial products and services and to identify and evaluate market practices. It’s a continuous process of finding viable sources of goods and services to meet government requirements and is mandated for all acquisition programs. It’s conducted by key members of a program’s Integrated Product Team (IPT) with the goal of pulling together the necessary market information to be analyzed so an informed decision can be achieved on how to satisfy a need. The results of market research and future plans for market research are included in a program’s Acquisition Strategy.

 

Definition
“Market research is a continuous process for gathering data on product characteristics, suppliers’ capabilities, and the business practices/trends that surround them — plus the analysis of that data to make smart acquisition decisions.” (FAR 2.1)

 

Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) for Market Research

  • FAR Part 8 “Required Sources of Supplies and Services”: provides a list of potential sources in priority order that Program Managers/IPTs must go thru to conduct market research.
  • FAR Part 10 “Market Research”: prescribes policies and procedures for conducting market research to arrive at the most suitable approach to acquiring, distributing, and supporting supplies and services.

 

Market research is intended to determine and help: [1,3]

  • Determine if sources capable of satisfying the agency’s requirements exist
  • Determine the extent to which commercial items or non-developmental items could be used to meet agency requirements.
  • Determine the practices of firms engaged in producing, distributing, and supporting commercial items, such as type of contract, terms for warranties, buyer financing, maintenance and packaging, and marking
  • Identify the availability (if any) of commercially available solutions
  • Identify customary industry terms, conditions, and warranties
  • Understand distribution and logistics capabilities
  • Uncover historical acquisition information
  • Ensure maximum competition
  • Reveal pricing information
  • Ensure maximum practicable use of recovered materials (see Subpart 23.4) and promote energy conservation and efficiency
  • Determine whether bundling is necessary and justified

 

Sources of Information
FAR Part 8 “Required Sources of Supplies and Services” provides a list of potential sources in priority order. Once you’ve satisfied that requirement, you can expand your search, preferably for a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution or one which would require little modification to adapt, using various other means possible. These would include but not be limited to: [1]

 

STATUTORY. A stand-alone, Regulatory requirement at Materiel Development Decision (MDD). [1]

 

STATUTORY updates (as part of the ACQUISITION STRATEGY) required at Milestone A and the Development RFP Release Point; not required thereafter. Conducted to reduce the duplication of existing technologies and products, and to understand potential materiel solutions, technology maturity, and potential sources, to assure maximum participation of small business concerns, and possible strategies to acquire them. For programs responding to urgent needs, included in the Course of Action Approach at the Development Milestone. [1]

 

Defense Acquisition Guide (DAG) “Market Research”
FAR Part 10 requires the Acquisition Strategy include the results of completed market research and plans for future market research. (See also the JCIDS Manual ). Market research information provided in the Acquisition Strategy should be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of 10 USC 2366b. For the Milestone B certification, compliance with 10 USC 2377, 15 USC 644, WSARA Sec 202, other statute & Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations Supplement (DFARS) determines the outcome of the market strategy certification element. Market research should yield an understanding of potential material solutions, their technology maturity, and potential sources, and should suggest strategies for acquiring them.

Market research is a primary means of determining the availability and suitability of commercial items and the extent to which the interfaces for these items have broad market acceptance, standards-organization support, and stability. In addition, market research is important in seeking small business capabilities. Thorough market research needs to be performed to determine whether or not small businesses are capable of satisfying the requirements. Market research supports the acquisition planning and decision process, supplying technical and business information about commercial technology and industrial capabilities to arrive at the most suitable approach to acquiring, distributing and supporting supplies and services. Market research, tailored to program needs should continue throughout the acquisition process and during post-production support.

 

Market Research Report Format

  • Background Information
  • Product/Service Description
  • Performance Requirements
  • Available Sources (vendors)
  • Product/Service Data
  • Environmental Impact Considerations & Cert Requirements
  • Commercial Opportunities
  • Prevalent Business Practices
  • Technology Trends & Technology Insertion
  • Small Business Opportunities
  • Market and Pricing Issues, Terms & Conditions
  • Other Considerations
  • Government’s Presence/ Leverage in the Market
  • Market Analysis, Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Market Research Techniques Used/Functional Involvement

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 6/15/2018

Acquisition Process

Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP)

 

A Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) (10 USC § 2430) is a program that meets or exceeds the ACAT I requirements in DoD Instruction 5000.02 “Operation of the Defense Acquisition System” and is classified as an MDAP by the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) or Under Secretary of Defense (USD) Acquisition & Sustainment (A&S).

 

Acquisition
Category
Reason for ACAT Designation Decision Authority
ACAT I Major Defense Acquisition Program (MDAP) (10 U.S.C. 2430 (Reference (n)))

  • Dollar value for all increments of the program: estimated by the DAE to require an eventual total expenditure for research, development, and test and evaluation (RDT&E) of more than $480 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 constant dollars or, for procurement, of more than $2.79 billion in FY 2014 constant dollars
  • MDA designation 

MDA designation as special interest1

ACAT ID: DAE or as delegated

ACAT IC: Head of the DoD Component or, if delegated, the CAE (not further delegable)

ACAT IA1,2 MAIS (10 U.S.C. 2445a (Reference(n))): A DoD acquisition program for an Automated Information System4 (AIS) (either as a product or a service5) that is either:

  • Designated by the MDA as a MAIS program; or
  • Estimated to exceed: 
    • $40 million in FY 2014 constant dollars for all expenditures, for all increments, regardless of the appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, and deployment, and incurred in any single fiscal year; or 
    • $165 million in FY 2014 constant dollars for all expenditures, for all increments, regardless of the appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, and deployment, and incurred from the beginning of the Materiel Solution Analysis Phase through deployment at all sites; or 
    • $520 million in FY 2014 constant dollars for all expenditures, for all increments, regardless of the appropriation or fund source, directly related to the AIS definition, design, development, deployment, operations and maintenance, and incurred from the beginning of the Materiel Solution Analysis Phase through sustainment for the estimated useful life of the system. 

MDA designation as special interest1

ACAT IAM: DAE or as delegated

ACAT IAC: Head of the DoD Component or, if delegated, the CAE (not further delegable)

 

  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.

 

The Secretary of Defense may adjust the amounts listed above on the basis of Department of Defense (DoD) escalation rates. An adjustment under this subsection shall be effective after the Secretary transmits a written notification of the adjustment to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 8/01/2020

Acquisition Process

Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRPDR)

 

The Full-Rate Production Decision Review (FRDR) is conducted at the conclusion of Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) effort that authorizes entry into the Full-Rate Production (FRP) and Deployment efforts of the Production and Deployment (PD) Phase of the Defense Acquisition Process. [1]

 

Full-Rate Production (FRP) Contracting for economic production quantities following stabilization of the system design and validation of the production process.

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 8/5/2018

Acquisition Process

Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP)

 

The Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) is conducted during the Production and Deployment (PD) Phase.  LRIP is the point in time where manufacturing development is completed and the ability to produce a small-quantity set of articles to provide for representation at Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E).  It also establishes an initial production base and sets the stage for a gradual increase in production rate to allow for Full-Rate Production (FRP) upon completion of Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E). [1]

 

The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) determines the LRIP quantity at Milestone B. The LRIP quantity shall be documented in the Acquisition Strategy and the Selected Acquisition Report (SAR) with rationale for quantities exceeding 10 percent of the total production quantity.  An updated Acquisition Strategy must be approved prior to LRIP and FRP Request for Proposal (RFP) release, but no later than the Milestone C or Full-Rate Production (FRP) decision by the MDA. The DOT&E or the Operational Test Agency (OTA) determines the number of production or production-representative test articles required for Live-Fire Test and Evaluation (LFT&E) and Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E). [1]

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/11/2017

Acquisition Process

Flight Readiness Review (FRR)

A Flight Readiness Review (FRR) is a sub-set of the Test Readiness Review (TRR) and is applicable only to aviation programs. It assesses the readiness to initiate and conduct flight tests or flight operations. Typically, FRR approval requires the aviation system to be under Configuration Management (CM), have a flight clearance issued by the technical authority, approved flight test plan(s), discrepancy tracking and risk assessment processes in place.

The FRR is a technical assessment establishing the configuration to be used in-flight testing to ensure that the system has a reasonable expectation of being judged operationally effective and suitable.  This review assesses a system test environment to ensure that the system under review can proceed into flight test with airworthiness standards met, objectives clearly stated, flight test data requirements clearly identified, and an acceptable Risk Management Plan (RMP) defined and approved. [1]

An FRR shall be conducted prior to the first flight of any new air vehicle.  For complex systems, an FRR shall be conducted with an assessment of each subsystem or Configuration Item (CI) prior to flight.  An FRR is also required prior to the first flight of any major changes to hardware, software, envelope, or objectives not covered in a previous FRR. [1]

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 8/01/2017

Acquisition Process

DoD Directive 5000.01

Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5000.01 “The Defense Acquisition System” (Change 2) – 31 August 2018

 

The Directive that governs the policies for the Defense Acquisition System is called the Department of Defense (DoD) Directive 5000.01 “The Defense Acquisition System” (Change 2) dated 31 August 2018.  The Directive lists the following policies that shall govern the Defense Acquisition System.  The policies in this Directive apply to all acquisition programs. [1]

 

Policy

  • Purpose
  • Applicability and Scope
  • Definition
  • Policy
  • Responsibility

Enclosure 1: Additional Policy

AcqLink and References: 

Updated: 1/23/2020

Acquisition Process

Development RFP Release Decision

 

The Development RFP Release Decision is the point in a program at which planning for development is complete and a decision can be made to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) for development to the industry. It’s the point at which plans for the program must be most carefully reviewed to ensure all risks are understood and under control, the program plan is sound, and that the program will be affordable and executable. [1]

 

This decision point authorizes the release of RFPs for Engineering & Manufacturing Development (EMD) and often for Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) or Limited Deployment options. [1]

Acquisition System

 

The purpose of the Development RFP Release Decision Point is to ensure, prior to the release of the solicitation for EMD, that an executable and affordable program has been planned using a sound business and technical approach. One goal at this point is to avoid any major program delays at Milestone B, when source selection is already complete and the award is imminent. Therefore, prior to the release of final RFPs, there needs to be confident that the program requirements to be bid against are firm and clearly stated; the risk of committing to the development and presumably production has been or will be adequately reduced prior to contract award and/or option exercise; the program structure, content, schedule, and funding are executable; and the business approach and incentives are structured to both provide maximum value to the government and treat industry fairly and reasonably. [1]

 

Documents required for the Development RFP Release Decision Point will be submitted no later than 45 calendar days prior to the review. These documents may have to be updated for final approval by the appropriate authority prior. [1]

 

AcqLinks and References:

Updated: 7/11/2017