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OMB Circular No. A-109

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Citation Edit

Office of Management and Budget, Major System Acquisitions (OMB Circular No. A-109) (Apr. 5, 1976) (full-text).

Overview Edit

This document governs the acquisition by executive branch agencies of major systems, including major information technology systems. Major system acquisition programs are those that:

  • Are directed at and critical to fulfilling an agency mission,
  • Entail the allocation of relatively large resources,
  • Warrant special management attention, or
  • Are so designated by agencies.

There are a number of features that characterize an A-109 acquisition. For example:

  • Major systems requirements are based on mission needs.
  • A management structure is developed to support the procurement.
  • The acquisition is managed throughout its life cycle.
  • Key decision points are planned and scheduled.
  • Specifications are performance- or functional-based.
  • Competitors are encouraged to bid innovative alternative solutions.
  • Competing alternative solutions are funded by the Government for demonstration before the final selection is made.

It is this last characteristic — funding demonstrations for competitive evaluation and selection — that became the hallmark of an A-109 procurement. The other characteristics of A-109 acquisitions are, in general, typical of many of today's acquisitions.

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