Is it appropriate, i.e., a good practice, to develop an consolidated acquisition plan for the total program vs. preparing an acquisition plan for every single procurement action?
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An Acquisition Plan is prepared by the Contracting Officer and formally documents the specific actions necessary to execute the approach delineated in the approved Acquisition Strategy. The Acquisition Plan serves as the basis for contractual implementation as referenced in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Subpart 7.1 and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) Subpart 207.1.
The Federal Acquisition Regulation requires acquisition planning for all Federal procurements, and the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement requires Program Managers to prepare written Acquisition Plans (APs) for most acquisitions exceeding $10 million. An AP is execution-oriented and contract-focused-- normally relating to a singular contractual action.
There is no DoD-level rule that precludes the Program Manager from preparing a single document to satisfy the requirement for an acquisition strategy and an acquisition plan. In fact, FAR 34.004 dealing with major systems acquisition requires that the Acquisition Strategy “qualify” as the AP. However, in practice, DoD Components often prefer to provide a more general Acquisition Strategy to the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for approval and choose to prepare a separate, more detailed AP. If a separate AP is prepared, it may not be approved until after the Acquisition Strategy has been approved.
The Acquisition Plan is required for Contracting or procuring for development activities when the total cost of all contracts for the acquisition program is estimated at $10 million or more; procuring products or services when the total cost of all contracts is estimated at $50 million or more for all years or $25 million or more for any one fiscal year; and other procurements considered appropriate by the agency.
DFARS 207.103 does not preclude development of an Acquisition plan for the total program. Therefore, it would be a "best practice" to develop an Acquisition Plan for the entire program vice for every single procurement action if it is deemed to be more efficient.