"We found that approximately half of the programs initiated to date would be categorized as major defense acquisition programs
if they were not being pursued under a middle-tier pathway," the report stated.
This law is also known as the Nunn--McCurdy Act for the principle sponsors of an amendment thereto requiring the DOD to report to Congress whenever a major defense acquisition program
experiences cost overruns that exceed certain thresholds.
DOD's portfolio of 95 major defense acquisition programs
At the forefront of this effort to refill the cost-estimating toolbox is a DoD-wide effort to establish and require a standard work breakdown structure (WBS) as well as cost and technical data on all major defense acquisition programs
. The Air Force is cochairing a joint government/industry team to establish a benchmark WBS and a requirement for cost and technical data on all major programs.
Congressional concern has ranged from "micro-level" practices, such as characteristics of a particular contract, to "macro-level" practices, such as DOD's management and execution of Major Defense Acquisition Programs
To help the Air Force better anticipate cost and schedule challenges and manage programs throughout their life cycles, this study developed a methodology that can be used to evaluate the likelihood of cost growth and schedule slip for major defense acquisition programs
(MDAPs) based on program characteristics observable at milestone B.
The department has also proposed a new rule to require that--in procurements for major defense acquisition programs
and major automated information systems in a development phase--contracting officials must adjust the total evaluated cost/price of a contractor proposal to account for its proposed reliance on government-funded IRAD projects.
Since 2008, DOD's portfolio of major defense acquisition programs
has grown from 96 to 98 programs, and its investment in those programs has grown to $1.68 trillion.
The law specifically requires that independent cost estimates be performed for all Major Defense Acquisition Programs
(MDAP) in support of major milestones and before the programs enter low-rate initial production or full production.
Deborah (Debbie) Tomsic is responsible for oversight of several major defense acquisition programs
and is the Office of the Secretary of Defense focal point for earned value management.
The Performance Assessment and Root Cause Analysis (PARCA) Office within the Department of Defense Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, recently highlighted the root causes for major defense acquisition programs
with critical cost growth as part of the Nunn-McCurdy breach certification process.
He observed that 80 percent of major defense acquisition programs
fail to meet cost and schedule goals, and 47 have experienced Nunn-McCurdy breaches, some multiple times.