I have been having trouble finding definitive guidance on the purpose and usage of PPSS funding. What regulation or pamphlet guides this financial execution? Is it permissible to use PPSS funding to support new software capabilities and hardware obsolescence required to keep a system viable?
Sustaining a system's software is accomplished through post-production software support (PPSS). PPSS encompasses all software activities required to ensure that systems that are fielded and no longer in production continue to support their operational mission. Although simple in concept, PPSS encompasses a breadth of activities such as maintaining operational capabilities by correcting defects discovered in the field; ensuring compliance with information assurance requirements; adjusting software because of changes in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) releases; assisting users in the field; ensuring compliance with Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of the Army directives and policies (such as software blocking); and improving software maintainability and reliability.
Financial Management Regulation Volume 2A Chapter 1 010212 addresses budgeted for IT and software efforts. Software releases categorized as iterations on the basic release and not involving significant performance improvements or extensive testing are considered a maintenance effort. Minor improvements in software functionality which are accomplished during routine maintenance may also be O&M funded, New software capability could be considered PPSS depending on the circumstances but without that specifics of the program being provided by the submitter it is impossible to provide a yes/no answer. However the general guidelines for funding software:
- Software development (writing code)
- Software upgrades that increase performance envelope
- Software required for RDT&E test purposes
- Software that requires DT or IOT&E
- R&D developed software approved for production item
- COTS Software approved for use “as is” in production item
- Software packages included with purchase of ADP equipment to be used without modification
- Software that replaces operational software
- Software upgrades with no significant change to performance
- Software that is an iteration on the basic release and not
involving significant performance improvements or extensive testing
Recommend that you talk to your Comptroller to get their guidance on local PPSS policy.