Where specifically in the DoD 5000 series does it state that ACAT III programs are not required to generate/prepare a CARD? Is it implied or is it stated explicitly?
DODI 5000.02, Enclosure 7, states:
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"For ACAT I and IA programs, the PM shall prepare, and an authority no lower than the DoD Component PEO shall approve, the CARD. DoD 5000.4-M (Reference (bd)) specifies CARD content. For joint programs, the CARD shall cover the common program as agreed to by all participating DoD Components, as well as any DoD Component-unique requirements." DODI 5000.02 goes on to state the delivery requirements, milestone events, and customers for the CARD.
The Defense Acquisition Guidance, para 126.96.36.199, reiterates the requirement for a CARD on ACAT 1 and 1A programs and also states:
"For other acquisition programs, the preparation of a CARD, or an abbreviated CARD-like document with appropriate tailoring, is strongly encouraged to provide a written program description suitable to support a credible life-cycle cost estimate."
In answer to your question, the CARD is required by DODI 5000.02 for ACAT 1 and 1A programs and not for ACAT III programs. DODI 5000.02 is a directive of USD(AT&L). This does not preclude your service or PEO from having their own CARD requirements for programs within their purview. Check with your component cost agency or your PEO cost staff to find out about your own organization's requirements.