- 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.