Home - Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation

CAPE'S MISSION

Provide the Department of Defense with timely, insightful and unbiased analysis on resource allocation and cost estimation problems to deliver the optimum portfolio of military capabilities through efficient and effective use of each taxpayer dollar.

About

Leadership
Joseph R. Nogueira
Acting Director, CAPE

Mr. Nogueira earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of California and a Masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy Scool of Government at Harvard University.

Description

The Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) was established in 2009 as part of the Weapon Systems Acquisition Reform Act (WSARA). The origins of the office date to 1961 with the establishment of the Office of Systems Analysis, which became the Office of Program Evaluation and Analysis in the mid-1970s. The CAPE staff consists of approximately 150 people, including both government civilians and military officers. The military officers serve in two- to three-year rotational assignments with the organization and are selected for both their operational and technical expertise. CAPE's civilian and military staff is highly educated, with backgrounds in a variety of academic disciplines, including physics, economics, engineering, mathematics, biology, computer science, and operations research. Approximately 42% of the analytic civilian staff holds a doctorate in their field, and a substantial share have prior military experience.

By law, the CAPE Director reports directly to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, providing independent analytic advice on all aspects of the defense program, including alternative weapon systems and force structures, the development and evaluation of defense program alternatives, and the cost-effectiveness of defense systems.

CAPE is responsible for the management of the Department's programming process, including development of planning guidance (in conjunction with other organizations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense), production of applicable programming guidance, and direction of the annual program review. The ultimate product of the program review is the Future Years Defense Program - the authoritative statement of what the Department plans, year by year, in terms of force structure (how many ships, brigades and divisions, aircraft squadrons and wings, etc., we will operate), procurement (how many ships, tanks, aircraft, missiles, etc., we will buy), manpower (how many people, military and civilian, we plan to employ in each of the services and defense agencies), other supporting programs (such as R&D and military construction), and what it will all cost.

CAPE helps to shape the force in the long-term by providing analysis and advice on resource issues to the Joint Requirements Oversight Council as well as formulating study guidance for analyses of alternatives for major defense acquisition programs. In addition, CAPE plays a central role in conducting analyses and formulating alternatives for major DoD-wide assessments, such as the Quadrennial Defense Review and the Secretary's Strategic Portfolio Reviews.

At the direction of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, or the Director, the CAPE team also conducts numerous special studies and offers advice in other areas, such as military medical care, school systems for military dependents, information technology, and defense economics. These special studies sometimes include support to other federal agencies, several of which have created their own program analysis groups modeled on CAPE.

As an independent advisor to the Secretary, CAPE conducts analyses to answer the critical questions needed to shape and implement the Secretary of Defense's priorities and direction. Toward that end, CAPE leads the necessary but often unpopular task of fitting the defense program to the budgetary limits set for the Department by the President and Congress. Consistent with its advisory role, the office has no direct decision authority or line responsibility and has no vested interest in any sector of the defense budget.

Public Reports


CAPE produces reports in accordance with WSARA 2009 and other guidance.
Title FY
FY 2019 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Release March, 2020.
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FY 2019
FY 2018 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Release May, 2019.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2018
FY 2017 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released May, 2018.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional
FY 2017
FY 2016 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released February, 2017.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2016
FY 2015 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released February, 2016.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2015
FY 2014 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released April, 2015.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2014
FY 2013 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released April, 2014.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2013
FY 2012 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released April, 2013.
PDF designed for doublesided printing, blank pages are intentional.
FY 2012
FY 2011 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released May 7, 2012.
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FY 2011
FY 2010 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released July 26, 2011.
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FY 2010
FY 2009 Annual Report on Cost Assessment Activities
Released June 2, 2010.
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FY 2009
Other Topical Reports
Additonal reports related to CAPE and WSARA
Title FY
Operating and Support Cost-Estimating Guide
Released September 2020.
FY 2020
Inflation And Escalation Best Practices For Cost Analysis
Released January 2017.
   - eMail (Feedback) for comments and questions eMailOSD Pentagon CAPE mailbox Inflation
FY 2017
Inflation And Escalation Best Practices For Cost Analysis
Released April 2016.
FY 2016
Organizational Structure Review of the
Personnel Accounting Community
Released July 2014.
FY 2014
Study of DoD's Cost Indices
IDA produced this report in accordance with WSARA

Released May 9, 2012.
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FY 2010 - 2012
FY2020 DoD Budget Request (Base and OCO Funding)

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget request is a major milestone to a more lethal, agile, and innovative Joint Force and operationalizes the National Defense Strategy (NDS) to provide the combat-credible military forces needed for the U.S. to deter or defeat great power adversaries. This budget builds on progress from the sustained funding increases Congress provided in the FY 2017, FY 2018, and FY 2019 budgets to repair damaged readiness and marks a key next step in how we develop, posture and employ the joint force to deter or defeat great power adversaries well into the future. The FY 2020 budget will strengthen our competitive advantage and shape our military to succeed in this new era of great power competition by supporting continued implementation of the NDS.

The DoD FY 2020 defense budget executes the NDS by reprioritizing resources and shifting investments to prepare for a potential future, high-end fight. This budget resources the following four focus areas to build a more lethal, agile, and innovative joint force:

  1. Investing in the emerging space and cyber warfighting domains to prepare for a complex security environment.
  2. Modernizing capabilities in the air, maritime, and land domains to enhance lethality.
  3. Innovating rapidly in key operational areas to strengthen our competitive advantage
  4. Sustaining our forces and building on our readiness gains to prepare for current operational commitments and future threats.

Related CAPE Web Sites

Useful Links

Employment Opportunities

Working for CAPE

General:

CAPE is part "think tank," part consulting firm, and part investigative agency. Our employees all wear the broad job title of Operations Research Analyst, reflecting the breadth of issues being considered within the Department of Defense on a day-to-day basis.
CAPE is seeking highly talented professionals with graduate education in quantitative fields, as well as demonstrated analytical ability. Since the issues CAPE works with tend to be broad, it is necessary to have a desire and ability to see the big picture and to rapidly acquire knowledge beyond a particular field of expertise. An excellent ability to communicate, both orally and in writing, is essential.
CAPE has professionals in the fields of mathematics, physics, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, aeronautical engineering, computer science, economics, and many other related technical fields.
CAPE periodically has vacancies for Schedule B Excepted Service Operations Research Analysts in a variety of areas, which can include:
  1. Analyzing proposed systems related to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (degree in the physical sciences, engineering, math, or operations research desired)
  2. Developing metrics for the Secretary of Defense
  3. Performing campaign analyses in the assessment of programs
  4. Preparing independent cost estimates of current and proposed DoD systems
  5. Analyzing proposed tactical aircraft systems

Operations Research Analyst (General)

Open Period: July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Pay Plan-Series: GS 11-15
Salary Range: $72,030 to $170,800 Per Year

This vacancy announcement is for potential positions in the following Deputates:
Analysis and Innovation serves as the key advisor on strategic analysis and planning, theater-level combat analysis, and regional assessments. A&I is designed to be cross-functional and takes on issues that cross over multiple divisions in CAPE. It also focuses on big issues that shape Departmental thinking, but may not have programmatic implications.
Capability Enablers provides analyses on cost and operational effectiveness of alternative programs for strategic strike; strategic defense; theater ballistic missile defense, space systems; Information systems, strategic C3I systems; defense-wide C3 systems; chemical and biological defense; chemical stockpile destruction, science and technology; arms control compliance and verification; and nuclear nonproliferation.
Program Evaluation serves as the key advisor for cost-effectiveness and affordability assessments across the full spectrum of defense programs by evaluating programmatic alternatives on major defense issues that lead to resource allocation decisions.

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Operations Research Analyst (Cost Assessment)

Open Period: July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020
Pay Plan-Series: GS-11-15
Salary Range: $72,030 to $170,800 Per Year

This vacancy announcement is for potential positions in the Cost Assessment Deputate:
Cost Assessment conducts independent cost estimates and cost analyses, prescribes policies and procedures for the conduct of cost estimation and cost analyses in DoD, reviews all cost estimates and cost analyses conducted in connection with Major Defense Acquisition Programs and Major Automated Information System programs, conducts cost analyses of defense acquisition programs to be carried out using multi year contract authority, prescribes policies and procedures for the reporting and collection of actual cost data and issues guidance relating to the full consideration of life-cycle management and sustainability.

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