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    How is it determined if you are an ACAT 1B, C, or D? How are programs designated/delegated?


    Answer

    The following description is from DAU's Acquipedia:

    ACAT I programs are Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). A MDAP is a program that is not a highly sensitive classified program and that is designated by the Secretary of Defense as a MDAP (10 USC, 2430); or that is estimated to require an eventual total expenditure for research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E), including all planned increments, of more than $525 million (Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 constant dollars) or, for procurement, including all planned increments, of more than $3.065 billion (FY 2020 constant dollars). Note: Unless designated as an MDAP, Automated Information Systems, Defense Business Systems, and projects carried out using rapid prototyping or fielding procedures do not meet the definition of MDAP.

    ACAT I programs have three sub-categories:

    ACAT ID for which the Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) is the Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE), unless delegated.

    ACAT IB for which the MDA is the SAE, unless delegated. ACAT IB programs are managed by a Military Department.

    ACAT IC for which the MDAA is the CAE, unless delegated. ACAT IC programs are managed by a DoD Component other than a Military Department.

    ACAT II programs are programs that do not meet the criteria for ACAT I and are estimated by the DoD Component head to require an eventual total expenditure for RDT&E of more than $200 million (FY 2020 constant dollars) or, for procurement, of more than $920 million (FY 2020 constant dollars).  The MDA for these programs are the CAE or their designee.

    ACAT III programs are those programs that do not meet the dollar thresholds for ACAT II or above and are not designated a “major system” by the MDA.  The MDA for these programs are designated by the CAE.

    NOTE: For ACAT II and ACAT III programs, CAE is synonymous with SAE and applies to all DOD components, including the Military Departments. .

    ACAT IV: While not defined within DoDI 5000.85, both the Navy/Marine Corps and the Army further categorize programs using ACAT IV.

    Navy/Marine Corps: ACAT programs in the Navy and Marine Corps not otherwise designated as ACAT I-III are designated ACAT IV. There are two categories of ACAT IV programs: IVT (Test) and IVM (Monitor). ACAT IVT programs require Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) while ACAT IVM programs do not. The DA for these programs is designated by the cognizant Program Executive Officer (Army), Direct Reporting Program Manager (DPRM), or Systems Command (SYSCOM) commander. [SECNAVINST 5000.02F, “Defense Acquisition System and Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System Implementation,” 26 Mar 2019]

    Army: ACAT IV programs are those programs that do not meet the criteria for ACAT III and are estimated to require an eventual total expenditure for RDT&E of less than $100 million (FY 2014 constant dollars) or procurement of less than $400 million. Note: these funding thresholds are guidelines, not mandatory.  The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) for ACAT IV programs may be delegated by the Army Acquisition Executive to a PEO, who may further delegate the MDA to a project manager at Colonel or the civilian equivalent rank. [ASA ALT ASCI Memorandum, “Implementing Acquisition Streamlining and Cultural Change,” 15 Dec 2017]

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