I am wondering if there is any regulation as to what type of acquisition strategy is required to be used by weapons acquisition programs? Are programs required to use event driven approaches can they use schedule driven? Are there any internal controls for this?
According to the Defense Acquisition Guidebook (DAG), Paragraph 2.3.1, “The Department's preferred approach is for event driven, rather than schedule driven, acquisition strategies.”
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The DAG website also contains other guidance on acquisition strategies to include templates/outlines (https://dag.dau.mil/Pages/Default.aspx). The event-driven acquisition strategy shall explicitly link program decisions to demonstrated accomplishments in development, testing, initial production, and life-cycle support, demilitarization and disposal. The events set forth in contracts shall support the appropriate exit criteria for the phase, or intermediate development events, established for the acquisition strategy.
In addition, the DoD IG specifically addressed event-driven vs. schedule-driven acquisition strategies in an audit entitled “Acquisition of the Vertical Take-off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (Project No. D2001AE-0080.000, December 14, 2001) at http://www.dodig.mil/audit/reports/fy02/02026sum.htm. The related finding was that the Vertical Take-off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program Manager developed a schedule-driven acquisition strategy rather than an event-driven acquisition strategy to achieve a directed initial operational capability date of September 2003 for the system. As a result, the program manager is proceeding with an acquisition strategy that includes high-risk items, which may not be resolved before the scheduled production milestone decision and may require the program manager to add time and funds for research, development, test, and evaluation to the budget to complete system development (finding A).
These DoD IG findings were also included in the Training Aid For DoD Auditors in Planning, Executing, and Reporting for Acquisition Audits (August 2005) located at www.dodig.mil/audit/pme_training.pdf.