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    Are there a few slides that DAU has that summarizes the MDA's "functions"? JPEO CBRND's MDA is somewhat unique in the aspect that the MDA is also the Materiel Release Authority for CBRN materiel solutions. Do you happen to have a similar chart(s) for the responsibilities of the MR authority? Anything you can provide would be helpful. I have spent several hours combing through the DAU website and cannot find anything and have begun pulling specific text from the various DoDIs.


    One of our professors recently drafted up some language on Decision Authorities for the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG).  That language is included below.  In addition, DAU conducts Defense Acquisition Executive Overview Workshops (DAEOW) for senior leaders in MDA, PEO, or similar positions.  The DAEOWs can be tailored to the needs of the individual.  If your MDA is interested in a DAEOW or you would like more information on DAEOWs, please contact at

    Decision Authorities

    The MDA/DA is the program decision authority and specifies the decision points and procedures for assigned programs. MDAs/DAs will tailor program strategies and oversight, phase content, the timing and scope of decision reviews, and decision levels based on the characteristics of the capability being acquired (including complexity, risk, and urgency) to satisfy user requirements.

    •             The MDA or DA for all milestone (MS) or authority to proceed (ATP) decision points will exercise decision authority as described in the applicable acquisition pathway policies.

    •             MDAs or DA for each acquisition pathway will approve, as appropriate, the acquisition strategy at all decision points described for the acquisition pathway. As a starting point for these decisions the MDA or DA should consider:

    o             Is the detail of the requirement understood appropriate for the pathway?

    o             Is the pathway recommended appropriate for the requirement and associated risks and opportunities with delivering the capability?

    o             Does the business approach have the potential to yield the desired outcome?

    o             Does the funding and required resources align with the desired capability timeline?

    o             Is the culture of the organization aligned with the stated approach?

    •             MDAs and DAs will approve program information requirements required by statute or specifically selected (i.e., “tailored-in”) by the PM as described in the acquisition strategy.

    •             Recognize the impact of fiscal constraints and plan programs based on realistic projections of the funding available in future years.

    •             Ensures PMs under their authority are providing current program or project content in the approved OUSD (A&S) data repositories.

    •             Make decisions to achieve affordable readiness and maintainability, in coordination with the DoD Component programming community. This includes:

    o             Prepare realistic program life cycle cost estimates;

    o             Prioritize portfolio capability requirements;

    o             Project funding available within a given portfolio or program.

    •             Responsibility for the acquisition of systems will be decentralized to the maximum extent practicable. DAEs, CAEs and PEOs should consider delegating acquisition decision authority to the lowest level based on the designated acquisition category and program cost, schedule and performance risks or opportunities.

    •             MDAs/DAs will provide PMs sufficient authority to accomplish approved program objectives for development, production, product support, and sustainment.

    •             Acquisition leaders at every level will be given the authority to manage their programs and will be accountable for results.

    For additional insights into acquisition responsibilities cascaded down from OUSD (A&S), refer to DoDD 5135.02.

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