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Defining the Top Acronyms in the Final PPBE Reform Report

Max Augros

April 10, 2024

Defining the Top Acronyms in the Final PPBE Reform Report-featured-image
In this article

    Introduction 

    As the DoD and Congress begin to consider the recommendations put forth by the PPBE Reform Commission, we would like to highlight the top 18 key acronyms the Commission frequently referred to in their Final Report, all of which will shape the future of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process. All of these concepts are part of bringing PPBE into the 21st century and will impact how military organizations plan, prioritize, and fund their missions. Given their importance, we’ve compiled and defined these acronyms (and 3 new ones introduced in the Final Report) below: 

    New Acronyms  

    1. ATCA - Acquisition and Technology Contingency Account: The ATCA is a proposed legislative proposal within the Department of Defense (DoD) that aims to provide agility in financing urgent, out-of-cycle requirements. The purpose of the ATCA is to ensure that the DoD has the necessary resources to rapidly respond to emerging operational needs or critical technology requirements. By having a dedicated contingency account, the DoD would be able to allocate funds quickly and efficiently to address urgent capability gaps or unforeseen technological advancements. (reference: Page 214) 
    2. DRS - Defense Resourcing System: The DRS is a proposed system that aims to enhance the connection between strategy and resource allocation within the Department of Defense (DoD). It is designed to address the weaknesses of the current PPBE process. It seeks to create a more flexible and analytically informed process while preserving congressional oversight and empowering the DoD workforce. (reference: Page 4) 
    3. MCAA - Major Capability Activity Area: The MCAA refers to a proposed structure for categorizing and organizing budgetary activities within the Department of Defense (DoD). The PPBE Reform Commission noted that the existing categorization systems in the DoD are not sufficient, and therefore, the Commission recommends the establishment of Major Capability Activity Areas. These MCAAs would provide a consistent budget structure across the Services and DoD Components while allowing flexibility for each organization to propose their own MCAA structure based on their specific needs and missions. (reference: Page 7) 

    Other Important Acronyms 

    1. AoA - Analyses of Alternatives: Analyses of Alternatives refer to a systematic evaluation process used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to assess different options or alternatives for acquiring or implementing a particular capability or system. This process helps ensure that resources are allocated wisely, and that the chosen alternative maximizes the DoD's ability to meet its mission requirements. (reference: Page 123) Read more here.  
    2. AI2 - Acquisition Integration and Interoperability: AI2 refers to the processes and capabilities related to integrating and ensuring interoperability among various acquisition systems and components within the Department of Defense (DoD). Acquisition Integration involves the coordination and consolidation of different acquisition systems, processes, and organizations to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness in acquiring and managing defense capabilities. It aims to streamline and harmonize the acquisition process, eliminate redundancies, and improve collaboration and communication among stakeholders. (reference: Page 202) 
    3. APFIT - Accelerating the Procurement and Fielding of Innovative Technologies: The APFIT program plays a crucial role in accelerating the procurement and fielding of innovative technologies within the Department of Defense. It provides a funding mechanism and support to small businesses and non-traditional companies, enabling them to bring their advanced capabilities to the field faster. (reference: Page 203) Read more here.  
    4. COTS - Commercial-Off-The-Shelf: COTS refers to products or solutions (such as software like Decision Lens) that are readily available in the commercial market and can be purchased and used as-is, without the need for significant customization or development. The use of COTS solutions allows organizations to avoid the difficulties and costs associated with customizing products to fit their business processes. (reference: Page 232) 
    5. DPG - Defense Planning Guidance: The DPG is an annually prepared document that establishes goals, priorities, and objectives to direct the preparation and review of the program and budget recommendations of all elements of the Department of Defense (DoD). (reference: Page 4) Read more here: Read more here.  
    6. DRRS - Defense Readiness Reporting System: The DRRS is a system used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to assess and report the readiness of military forces and capabilities. The DRRS is designed to provide accurate and timely information on the readiness status of the military across various domains, including personnel, equipment, training, and sustainment. It collects data from different sources, such as unit reports, inspections, and assessments, to generate readiness metrics and indicators. (reference: Page 37) Read more here.  
    7. GOTS - Government Off-the-Shelf: GOTS refers to software or technology solutions that are developed or acquired by the government for its own use. These solutions are typically commercially available products that have been modified or customized to meet the specific needs and requirements of government agencies. (reference: Page 234) 
    8. MDAP - Major Defense Acquisition Program: MDAPs are typically large-scale programs that involve the development, procurement, and sustainment of major weapon systems, platforms, or equipment. These programs often have significant budgetary implications and require extensive planning, coordination, and oversight. (reference: Page 185) 
    9. MOSA - Modular Open Systems Approach: MOSA is a technical and business strategy that promotes the use of modular components and open standards to design affordable and adaptable systems. It is a preferred approach within the DoD for implementing open systems and is required by U.S. law to ensure interoperability and flexibility in system development and acquisition. (reference: Page 106) Read more here.  
    10. NGRMS - Next Generation Resource Management System: NGRMS refers to a system being implemented within the DoD to improve resource management processes. The document mentions that NGRMS is a new integrated programming and budgeting system that replaces previous legacy systems. It is designed to streamline and enhance the management of resources, including program and budget data, and facilitate decision-making during the resource allocation process. (reference: Page 40) 
    11. P2P - Procure-to-Pay: P2P refers to a business process that involves the entire cycle of purchasing goods or services, from the initial procurement request to the final payment to the supplier. The P2P process typically includes activities such as requisitioning, sourcing, purchasing, receiving, and invoicing. It aims to streamline and automate the procurement process, ensuring that goods and services are obtained efficiently, and payments are made accurately and timely. The PPBE Reform Commission noted that the Department of Defense's Procure-to-Pay process faces challenges due to legacy systems and the need for routing transactions to a disbursing system, which hinders the direct flow of funds to Treasury. (reference: Page 235) 
    12. QRSP - Quick Reaction Special Projects: QRSP refers to a category of projects or initiatives designed to address urgent needs or respond quickly to emerging situations within the DoD. QRSPs are typically time-sensitive projects that require rapid action and deployment of resources. These projects are often initiated in response to unforeseen events, emerging threats, or critical operational requirements that cannot be addressed through regular planning and budgeting processes. (reference: Page 209) 
    13. RCO - Rapid Capability Office: The Rapid Capability Office is an office or organization established to expedite the delivery of capabilities within the Department of Defense (DoD). The RCO serves as a mechanism to overcome some of the constraints and delays associated with the traditional Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) process. It aims to provide increased agility and faster decision-making by shortening the decision chain and delegating authority to make rapid acquisitions. (reference: Page 214) 
    14. SABRS - Standard Accounting Budgeting and Reporting System: SABRS is a financial management system used by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support accounting, budgeting, and reporting activities. The SABRS system is designed to provide standardized and consistent financial information across the DoD. It serves as a central repository for financial data, allowing for efficient tracking and management of funds. The system enables the DoD to effectively allocate resources, monitor expenditures, and generate accurate financial reports. (reference: Page 234)
    15. SaaS - Software-as-a-Service: SaaS is a software delivery model where applications are hosted and provided over the internet by a service provider. Users can access and use the software through a web browser without the need for installation or maintenance. SaaS allows organizations to use software on a subscription basis, reducing the need for upfront investment in hardware and software infrastructure. (reference: Page 386) 

    Note: The content of this blog post is based on the PPBE Reform Commission’s final report document, which you can find here: https://ppbereform.senate.gov/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Commission-on-PPBE-Reform_Full-Report_6-March-2024_FINAL.pdf   

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