Middle Tier of Acquisition (MTA)

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Costs & Funding

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Each page in this pathway presents a wealth of curated knowledge from acquisition policies, guides, templates, training, reports, websites, case studies, and other resources. It also provides a framework for functional experts and practitioners across DoD to contribute to the collective knowledge base. This site aggregates official DoD policies, guides, references, and more.

DoD and Service policy is indicated by a BLUE vertical line.

Directly quoted material is preceeded with a link to the Reference Source.

Reference Source: DODI 5000.80, Paragraphs 3.2.c-e

 

Acquisition and Funding Strategies. DoD Components will develop and implement acquisition and full funding strategies for the program. This process will result in an acquisition strategy, which includes security, schedule and production risks, and a cost estimate. 

 

Lifecycle Cost, Logistics Support, and Interoperability. DoD Components will develop a process for considering lifecycle costs and address issues of logistics support and training; system, joint, and coalition interoperability; and planning for cooperative opportunities, to include foreign sales. This process will result in a tailored lifecycle sustainment plan. 

 

Reducing Total Ownership Cost. DoD Components will develop a process for identifying and exploiting opportunities to use the rapid fielding pathway to reduce total ownership costs. Success in this process will result in a tailored lifecycle sustainment plan that considers the integrated product support elements.

Check out the MTA FAQs and MTA Tips for potentially related questions from the field and helpful tips!

MTA Rapid Fielding Cost Estimate

OUSD(A&S) recommends using the Program Cost and Funding Chart Instructions and Template.

CAPE Estimate of Life-cycle Costs

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.73, Paragraph 3.1.b.(2)

 

CAPE will conduct an estimate of life-cycle costs for programs likely to exceed ACAT I or II thresholds pursued using the MTA rapid fielding pathway. CAPE may, in its discretion, delegate the authority for the conduct of the cost estimate to the Service Cost Agency (SCA). DoD Components must conduct life-cycle cost estimates for rapid fielding programs that do not exceed the ACAT II threshold in accordance with guidance issued by the relevant SCA.

 
Preparation of Estimates of Life-Cycle Costs for MTA Programs

Reference Source: DoDI 5000.73, Paragraph 3.4.g

 

Figure 7 describes the typical timeline of events and deadlines to support the timely completion of an estimate of life-cycle costs for MTA rapid prototyping and fielding programs.

 

The PMO must submit a comprehensive program description to the SCA, no later than 10 days after the ADM documenting the DoD Component’s decision to pursue a program using the rapid prototyping or fielding pathway is signed. The program description must provide a sufficient level of detail upon which to base the cost estimate. The PMO may submit a CARD; however, a CARD is not required.

 

No later than 14 days after the ADM documenting the DoD Component’s decision to pursue a program using the rapid prototyping or fielding pathway is signed, the director of the relevant SCA will meet with the CAPE Deputy Director for Cost Assessment (DDCA). At the meeting, DDCA will determine whether CA will prepare the life-cycle cost estimate or whether the responsibility will be delegated to the SCA.

 

The estimate of life-cycle costs should be completed no later than 60 days after the ADM documenting the DoD Component’s decision to pursue a program using the rapid prototyping or fielding pathway is signed. A summary of the final cost estimate must be documented in a dated memorandum signed by the SCA Director or DDCA, as relevant, with copies delivered to the relevant defense acquisition executive, service acquisition executive, program manager, MTA governance board, and CAPE.

 

Figure 7. Timeline for Preparation of Rapid Prototyping and Fielding Cost Estimates

 

Figure 7. Timeline for Preparation of Rapid Prototyping and Fielding Cost Estimates

CAPE Cost Reporting Guidance for MTA

Table 1 of DoDI 5000.73 "Cost Analysis Guidance and Procedures" lists the Cost Data Reporting Requirements and when they are required.

Operating & Support (O&S) Costs

Reference Source: Guidance from ASD(Sustainment), Jan 2020
(Based on Operating & Support Cost Management Guidebook, 2016)

Design Interface is the exchange of information between a program’s product support and systems engineering functions to enable design trades among product support considerations, including O&S costs. System design’s influence on O&S costs is surpassed only by requirements definition in its effect on O&S cost, and the magnitude of this impact is greatest during early design decisions.

Control and verify the O&S cost of the system and its top cost drivers. The program should track O&S cost as it tracks Technical Performance Measures (TPMs), throughout development and integration, including documentation of value changes and estimated O&S cost ranges.

DoD Component Guidance

Note that DoD Component MTA Implementation policies and guidance are currently being updated to be consistent with the newly published DODI 5000.80 (effective 30 Dec 2019). 

Air Force

Reference Source: Air Force Guidance Memorandum for Rapid Acquisition Activities, 27 June 2019

 

4. Funding.

 

4.1. Funding for rapid acquisition activities must be reasonably anticipated by the expected date of commitment to enable efficient personnel and contracting actions. Projected initiation date and criteria will be documented in the Acquisition Strategy Document (ASD).

 

4.1.1. Rapid prototyping and fielding efforts funded using the DoD Rapid Prototyping Fund may be subject to additional DoD guidance.

 

4.2. Funding for rapid acquisition activities will be managed using the normal Planning, Programming, and Budgeting Execution process managed by the Air Force and Department of Defense. Each program manager (PM) should keep the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management (SAF/FM) informed of additional schedule acceleration that is achievable should additional funding be provided. SAF/FM will handle these opportunities using the UFR process.

 

Reference Source: AFPD 65-5, 28 Dec 2018

 

Non-Advocate Cost Assessment (NACA) is an analysis of program cost / price, as well as schedule and technical risk, prepared by an organization not directly responsible for the development, acquisition, or support of the program. NACAs are designed to support the AFCS and acquisition milestone decision process, and can range from a simple sufficiency review of an existing estimate to a complete ICE. The NACA should include a cost risk/uncertainty analysis (when possible) and complete documentation.

Army

Funding

Reference Source: ASA(ALT) Middle Tier of Acquisition Policy, 20 March 2020, Enclosure 1

 

[The required program acquisition strategy will include] a cost estimate identifying the full funding required. Program cost and funding plan, including cost, schedule and performance metrics.

 

Reference Source: ASA(ALT) Middle Tier of Acquisition Policy, 20 March 2020, Enclosure 2

 

Funding for MTA programs will be managed using the normal Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process.

 

PEOs/ PMs shall use current available funding and have a funding plan to execute their programs. PEOs/ PMs will keep the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Plans, Programs and Resources) (DASA(PPR)) informed of additional schedule acceleration that is achievable should additional funding be provided. DASA(PPR) will provide this information to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) for potential inclusion on the Unfunded Requirements List or in future Reprogramming Requests.

Navy

Funding Sources

Reference Source: ASN(RDA) Middle Tier Acquisition Interim Guidance, 24 April 2018

  • The Middle Tier Acquisition statute authorizes the use of special transfer authorities and authorizes the creation of rapid prototyping funds for both the DoD and DON to facilitate program initiation and acceleration with the budget year of execution.
  • The DON will continue to work with Congress to appropriate funding to the DON Rapid Prototyping Fund in order to enable Middle Tier Acquisition.
  • Until appropriated, the DON will maximize current budget authorities to accelerate program execution.

 

Reference Source: ASN(RDA) Middle Tier Acquisition Interim Guidance, 24 April 2018

Section 4.1. Rapid Prototyping projects and Rapid Fielding programs may be funded through one or more of the following paths:

a. Program Appropriated Funding. Programs with sufficient, and appropriate funding sources already appropriated through PPBE process. Rapid Fielding programs should utilize the PPBE process when time permits.

b. Department of the Navy (DON) Rapid Prototyping Fund. The DON is authorized to establish a flexible funding account that will contain appropriated funds to be distributed as warfighting needs arise. Once established, programs can be funded by the DON Rapid Prototyping Fund only when designated by their service Accelerated Acquisition Board of Directors (AA BoD). The DON Rapid Prototyping Fund can fund both rapid prototyping and rapid fielding pathways.

 

Funding Reporting

Reference Source: ASN(RDA) Middle Tier Acquisition Interim Guidance, 24 April 2018

Section 4.2. If projects or programs utilize Special Transfer Authorities under the Rapid Acquisition Authority.

  • The Secretary of Defense shall notify the Congressional Committees within ten (10) days of the transfer.

SOCOM

Reference Source: USSOCOM Middle Tier Acquisition Authorities and Guidance, 1 Aug 2018

Approved Resources: In order to meet the schedule constraints of an MTA strategy, by definition, the funding resources for an MTA may not have been explicitly resourced via the POM/Budget/Spend plan process. For the current authority, there is no set-aside rapid prototyping or rapid fielding funding. The Acquisition Team must have command-approved resources to execute the MTA strategy. The VCDR will approve any required funding realignments or reprogrammings via the SPP process. Whenever possible, anticipated MTA’s should be included in budget exhibits and budget briefings to Congress to ensure confidence that we are executing appropriated funds within Congressional intent. If an MTA is initiated after Budget Exhibit submission, the MDA will coordinate with SOLA to inform the PSM’s from the four Defense Committees.

  • Rapid Fielding: For PROC and O&M to support Rapid Fielding, all Pl lines descriptions should address rapid fielding. Again, if resources are not available within the appropriate Pl, the Acquisition Team will pursue an $PP-approved BTR.

 

Financial Management: The greatest challenge for the BFM, in support of the PM, will be to identify appropriate funds for the initiation of an MTA which may be required in the execution or budget years. The BFM must also ensure stability of funds in the subsequent POM build to ensure fie lding is achieved on schedule.

Additional Resources

DAU Functional Gateway: Business-Cost Estimating
DAU Functional Gateway: Business-Financial Management
DAU Community of Practice: Cost Estimating
DAU Community of Practice: Financial Management