DoD Releases Middle-Tier Acquisition Guidance

The Department of Defense has issued guidance for agencies with regard to the use of the middle-tier acquisition process, Federal News Network reported Friday.

The document says the MTA pathway seeks to address a gap in the defense acquisition system to facilitate the rapid prototyping and deployment of capabilities within five years of a program’s launch. “The MTA pathway may be used to accelerate capability maturation before transitioning to another acquisition pathway or may be used to minimally develop a capability before rapidly fielding,” according to the DoD Instruction 5000.80.

The guidance sets the procedures for rapid prototyping and rapid fielding activities. DoD companies should come up a merit-based process for new capabilities to satisfy the needs communicated by combatant commanders and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Agencies within the Pentagon should develop a “succinct requirement document” within six months of the initiation of the operational needs process. Pre-existing MTA initiatives should comply with the instruction within 60 days of the document’s issuance.

Under the instruction, the defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment has the responsibility to determine whether a program is appropriate or not for the MTA pathway and should work with decision authorities on MTA programs.

The document took effect on Dec. 30 and was approved by Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition and sustainment and a three-time Wash100 award recipient.

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