Can an AAP be a Program of Record?
If a “program of record” (POR) is defined as 1) an acquisition category (ACAT) program that 2) has received a successful Milestone B decision, then the answer is no, it’s not a POR.
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The Department of Navy (DON) has chosen to systematize the management of small modifications and acquisitions by creating an acquisition program category called “Abbreviated Acquisition Programs” separate from “acquisition category” (ACAT) programs. AAPs are defined by SECNAVINST 5000.2D, paragraph, 2.4.6, Abbreviated Acquisition Programs: “Small DON acquisitions and modifications may be designated an AAP if they do not require OT&E and they meet dollar threshold and other criteria in Table E2T1 below. The OTA must concur in writing that OT&E is not required. The office of ASN (RD&A) (APA) shall be notified of all AAP designations for entry into the ASN (RD&A) Acquisition Program listing."
The dollar thresholds for AAP are very modest, for example, for a weapon system AAP, the development cost must be less than $10M, and they do not normally require JCIDS documentation, although the requirement is approved by CNO/ or CMC designees.
One disclaimer to the above is noted in SECNAVINST 5000.02, paragraph 188.8.131.52, which says, “In addition, ASN(RD&A) or designated MDA may elect to treat any program meeting the AAP criteria listed in Table E2T1as an ACAT program if circumstances warrant, such as joint service involvement or high risk, or if greater visibility is justified.” So, under some unusual circumstances, it’s POSSIBLE an “AAP” may be treated as an “ACAT program,” which, if it entailed a formal Milestone B decision at some point, might qualify the AAP as an ACAT POR if so designated by the MDA. This situation is not very likely and was probably included in the SECNAV instruction simply to provide the MDA with the broadest possible discretion to deal with the widest possible set of circumstances.