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Milestone Decision Authority (MDA)

APMT 047

DAU GLOSSARY DEFINITION

Designated individual with overall responsibility for a program. The MDA will have the authority to approve entry of an acquisition program into the next phase of the acquisition process and shall be accountable for cost, schedule, and performance reporting to higher authority, including Congressional reporting.

Alternate Definition

The Milestone Decision Authority is the designated individual with overall responsibility for a program. The MDA shall have the authority to approve entry of an acquisition program into the next phase of the acquisition process and shall be accountable for cost, schedule, and performance reporting to higher authority, including congressional reporting.

Alternate Definition Source

The Milestone Decisision Authority (MDA/DA) is the program decision authority and specifies the decision points and procedures for assigned programs. MDAs/DAs will tailor program strategies and oversight, phase content, the timing and scope of decision reviews, and decision levels based on the characteristics of the capability being acquired (including complexity, risk, and urgency) to satisfy user requirements. MDAs for MDAPs and major systems will approve, as appropriate, the acquisition strategy at all major decision points.

General Information

The MDA/DA will review the PM’s recommendation regulatory information that will be employed to document program plans and how that information will be formatted and the MDA/DA’s decision will be documented in an acquisition decision memorandum. MDAs/DAs will coordinate, when necessary, with other regulatory document approval authorities to facilitate implementation of this approach. Statutory requirements will not be waived unless a statute permits

The MDA/DA determines the entry point of an acquisition program in the acquisition process. While factors such as cost, schedule, performance, risk, and technical maturity are considered by the MDA/DA, the entrance criteria for each phase of the life cycle guides the MDA/DA in determining the appropriate entry point for a program.

The MDA/DA also approves entry of a program into subsequent phases of the acquisition process. This determination is made based on the completion of exit criteria, which are phase specific goals particular to an acquisition program. The MDA/DA is the approval authority for a number of other program documents, strategies, and goals, including the Acquisition Strategy,Acquisition Decision Memorandum, Program Protection Plan, Low-Rate Initial Production Quantity, Should Cost target, and Systems Engineering Plan.

An acquisition program will be categorized based on the criteria in Table 1. Description and Decision Authority for ACAT I - III Programs in the DoDI 5000.85 Major Capability Acquisition. Table 1 contains the description and decision authority for ACAT I through ACAT III programs. The Defense Acquisition Executive (DAE) or designee will review ACAT ID programs. Pursuant to Section 2430 of Title 10, U.S.C., the service acquisition executive (SAE) will review ACAT IB programs unless otherwise specified. The component acquisition executive (CAE) will review ACAT IC programs. The CAE, or the individual designated by the CAE, will review ACAT II and ACAT III and below programs.