I understand that breach of a threshold must be reported; however, is the background information as written in the MAG true, where breaching of an objective must also be reported? For example, in terms of schedule (objective would be the threshold plus 6 months), and the objective will end up stretching another 6 months. Is there any higher authority that states that we are to submit deviations based on foreseeing breaching an objective?
To understand the Marine Corps Systems Command Acquisition Guidebook (MAG) paragraph, one must first recognize that cost objectives and schedule objectives are values that are less than the threshold values. For example, a program with a schedule threshold of 12 months would have an objective schedule value that is less than 12 months. The paragraph as written does not require reporting for deviations of an objective value. The paragraph is defining the threshold values using the default definition for Threshold for each parameter. For example, the Objective for schedule is date x, the default threshold for the schedule is date x plus 6 months. If one choses to define the schedule threshold date first, then the threshold is date x and the default Objective would be date x minus 6 months.
With that understood, yes – there is a higher authority to which to immediately report a breach after it has occurred. In defense acquisition, there are statutory and regulatory requirements defense acquisition professionals must follow. Regulatory authorities are Department and/or Service-specific requirements. Statutory authorities are required congressionally by law, such as the Nunn-McCurdy Act, which was an amendment to Title 10 introduced by Senator Sam Nunn and Congressman Dave McCurdy in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 1982. This amendment requires that Acquisition Category I (ACAT I) program managers maintain current estimates of Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC) and Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC). If the PAUC or APUC increases by 25 percent or more over the current Acquisition Program Baseline (APB) objective, or 50 percent or more over the original APB objective, the program must be terminated unless the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) certifies to Congress that the program is essential to national security. This is stated in the DAU glossary here: DAU Glossary Nunn McCurdy
There are three statutory program breach definitions program managers must know and follow. They are listed in the DAU Adaptive Acquisition Framework Document Identification (AAFDID) here: Statutory Program Breach Definitions. The approved Acquisition Program Baseline (ABP) represents the formal commitment to the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) and any deviations will be immediately reported if the deviations are 6 months or more beyond the Objective schedule or an Objective cost that has grown by 10 percent or more.