How is an IT system "determined" to be a Program of Record (PoR)?
What is the process and under what / whose authority does this happen, or is it (directly) associated with the passage of a given acquisition milestone, e.g., completion of MS C?
The term Program of Record (POR) although commonly used, is not included as official terminology in the DOD 5000-series. Consequently, from an acquisition policy perspective, POR is not a recognized term.
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Program of Record (POR) Defintion in the 13th Edition of the DAU Glossary
"Program as recorded in the current Future Years Defense Program (FYDP) or as updated from the last FYDP by approved program documentation (e.g., Acquisition Program Baseline (APB), acquisition strategy, or Selected Acquisition Report (SAR)). If program documentation conflicts with latest FYDP, the FYDP takes priority. 2.) May also refer to a program having successfully achieved formal program initiation, normally Milestone B."
This Glossary definition does not constitute official DOD policy. It is also worth noting from previously documented research that both the proponent office for the DOD 5000-series in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of General Counsel (OGC) have objected to a 2008 recommendation by the OASA(ALT) Directorate of Acquisition and Industrial Base Policy that a definition of POR be included in DOD acquisition .regulations.
Closely aligned to the discussion of POR is the DAU Glossary term for Approved Programs shown below:
Approved Programs Definition from the 13th Edition of the DAU Glossary
The technical and operational, schedule, and quantity requirements reflected in the latest approved Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD(AT&L)) Acquisition Decision Memorandum (ADM), or other document reflecting a more current decision of the USD(AT&L) or other appropriate approval authority (such as the President’s Budget (PB), the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP), and supporting documentation).
The term POR is not a recognized term and should not be used. The term POR has been used in the past to describe a program that is funded (approved) across the FYDP, through the POM. When this happens, the program becomes a "line item record" in the budget -- hence the term "program of record". When a program receives their Milestone B approval and are given a program element line item in the President's Budget, that program is considered an approved and recognized program (a program of record).