Do you use the threshold or objective cost value of the APB to determine ACAT category?
Per the DoDI 5000.02 Enclosure 1, Section 2:
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"The CAE will notify the DAE when an increase or estimated increase in program cost or a change in acquisition strategy will result in a possible reclassification of a formerly lower ACAT program as an ACAT I or IA program. ACAT changes will be reported as soon as the DoD Component anticipates that the program’s cost is within 10 percent of the minimum cost threshold of the next ACAT level. ACAT reclassification will occur upon designation by the DAE."
"Reason for ACAT I Designation - 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"
The cost values in the APB usually won't drive a change in ACAT designation unless there has been a recent change to the APB.
The objective values of the APB generally represent the program cost, but the APB is not the only source for a program cost estimate. Any acquisition document to include the SAR, DAES, APB, etc. or the program budget documents (R docs and P docs) can be a source for the program cost estimate.
If either the RDTE or the procurement cost is within 10% of the ACAT I thresholds, it is the CAE's responsibility to notify the DAE. Once the DAE has been notified that a program is within 10% of the ACAT I threshold, the DAE may request the Director of Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) to create an independent cost estimate (ICE) to be the determining factor if ACAT reclassification will occur based upon increase in cost.