How can the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) define a unified process for source approval requests (SARs)?


Posted: September 22, 2023

Deadline: October 13, 2023

The Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC) is seeking solutions for defining a unified process for the submission, evaluation, and acceptance criteria for source approval requests (SARs) across all DoD services and agencies.  The desired solution would identify a process that could be used across all DoD services and agencies and allow for a new or existing vendor to be added as a qualified source on an item.  Partial solutions that address a portion of the issue/process would be welcome.

Currently, there is a separate process and guidance at each of the services and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) for SARs.  The guidance varies based on repairable, nonrepairable, critical safety item, or propulsion systems, along with many other factors.  The wide variety of guidance and the initiative to utilize existing designs across platforms and services are inhibiting the ability to qualify additional sources (especially on items with multiple service users).  The top challenge for the industrial base is the burden associated with this and other administrative processes.  These disparities in guidance can cause the DoD to expend additional funding to maintain current sole-source vendors and significantly increase risk if the vendors or their subcontractors decide to no longer produce an item.  This is occurring more frequently with sustainment items that have a long service life.

The desired result will:

  • Identify the current SAR requirements across all services and agencies
  • Identify conflicts/differences between SAR requirements across all services and agencies
  • Combine the SAR guidance and requirements into a single, unified document with a Distribution A or C in accordance with DoDI 5230.24 to allow all potential vendors to utilize the information
  • Develop DoD-level guidance and requirements for source approvals

Some of the existing guidance is:

  • Naval Air Systems Command SAR:
  • U.S. Air Force SAR: and
  • DLA SAR:
  • U.S. Army:  SAR guidance is currently withdrawn, and no public document is available

If you have or know of documents, studies, or similar items that could contribute to the development of a unified SAR process applicable to the services, can provide subject matter expert commentary that would be of help in the development of a unified process, or are a DoD entity that might wish to collaborate with DLA in development of a unified process, please contact Scott Armistead (, the lead Information Analysis Center engineer, or join the discussion on the Defense Technical Information Center DoDTechipedia posting by clicking the “Join the Discussion” button below.

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