Page 33 (chart) of DoDI 5000.02, states the reasons for ACAT levels. ACAT II reason " does meet criteria for ACAT 1". ACAT 1 reasons are estmated value and MDA designation as special interest. Question is ACAT II that does not meet ACAT 1 reasons does that mean Value and interest or Value or interest?
The Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) has the authority to assign a program to an acquisition category (ACAT) designation above that normally associated with the dollar threshold for that program. This is not a user responsibilty, nor do they have the authority to designate the ACAT of the program.
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For a nominal Air Force ACAT II program, either the Air Force Acquisition Executive (Assistant Secretary of the Air Force (Acquisition)) or the Defense Acquisition Executive (Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics)) has the prerogative to designate the program an ACAT I using the "special interest" authority. Lower ACAT programs that have been designated as special interest programs have historically been those with a high profile due to political interest, implications for joint warfighting, or those with significant international connections.
The MDA will make the final determination as to what ACAT the program should be assigned based on a judgment that the ACAT assigned will be best for management and oversight of the program. This may include designating the program as "special interest" and assigning it an ACAT I designation, or it may mean simply leaving it at ACAT II program based on its projected R&D and procurement costs.