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Official Reports | USA

The Pentagon’s April 2010 SAR

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If you want to keep track of key Pentagon programs, Selected Acquisition Reports are an important resource. Shortly after the defense budget is submitted, the Pentagon releases details on major defense acquisition program cost, schedule, and performance changes on a periodic basis, summarizing the latest estimates of a major program’s cost, schedule, and technical status. Quarterly SARs are submitted for initial reports, final reports, and for programs that are rebaselined at major milestone decisions. Subsequent quarterly exception reports are required only for those programs experiencing unit cost increases of at least 15%, or schedule delays of at least 6 months. There are a number of ways programs can fall into a SAR report. The most routine is when their program baseline is first entered into the SAR set. The most troubling path to re-appearance involves technical development difficulties and/or cost spirals on the contractor’s end. The most benign re-appearance happens when the US military orders more units than it had planned to, something that would normally be seen as success. Cuts can also trigger a SAR report appearance, however, as the same number of research dollars are divided across fewer units produced. In a similar vein, self-inflicted “cost-cutting” schedule delays […]

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