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    What drives establishing a new program of record when a system has been declared in sustainment? When does new ACAT or APB designation come into play? Please provide the policy reference(s).


    The official definition of a New Start is contained in DoD Financial Management Regulation, DoD 7000.14-R, August 2000, Volume 3, Chapter 6, paragraph 060401 E: 

    A new start is “a program, subprogram, project, or subproject not previously justified by the Department and funded by the Congress through the normal budget process.”

    The determination of whether a particular activity is a new start is made based upon the justification material presented to the Congress for the program year in which the new program is proposed.  If a program (including a modification to a program in sustainment) is not explicitly addressed in the relevant justification material, it is considered a new start.  *The following parameters are provided to guide the decision making process:

    Effective for FY 2019 Appropriation

     A. Operation and Maintenance Accounts: New starts would be significant new programs that have not been previously justified. This determination would be made at the O-1 subactivity level.

    b. Procurement Programs:  An activity which requires the establishment of a new line item (at the P-1 level) or establishes a new subprogram not included in the procurement justification material (such as the P-40A and P-5A exhibits) is considered to be a new start. Guidance for specific procurement lines is as follows: (1) Modifications:  Modifications not included as specific lines on the P-3 are considered to be new starts. (2) Aggregate lines (Items Less Than $5 Million):  End items not specifically justified in the P-40 are considered to be new starts. (3) Information Technology: A new start is one not identified in the IT 300 exhibit, provided that the proposed program would require the preparation and submission of an IT 300 exhibit. (4) Spares and Repair Parts: Items procured by these lines are normally not individually justified; therefore, procurement of additional items, based upon demand, would normally not be considered to be new starts.

    c. RDT&E Programs:  A program which establishes a new program element, a new project, and a new task under a project not previously justified to the Congress on the R-2/R-2A is considered to be a new start.

    As far as changes to a fielded system in sustainment to address new requirements, depending on the nature and magnitude of the change, it could be considered a new start (see above).  The cost estimate will help determine which acquisition category applies.  DoDI 5000.02, (Enclosure 1) change 3, Aug 10, 2017 provides guidance on acquisition program categories and compliance requirements.  DoDI 5000.02 also indicates that the Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) is established at Milestone B and updated at subsequent milestones and decision reviews.  The APB is statutory for ACAT Is and regulatory for all other ACAT programs. 

    You should coordinate with appropriate Comptroller staff to ensure compliance with new start policy.    

    *This summary can be viewed at

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