The RDT&E Appropriation was established and authorized by Congress as a specific
appropriation for research, development, test, and evaluation of technologies, materials,
and human factors directly relating to improving the performance of the Coast Guard's
missions. It is important to be able to distinguish between RDT&E and other
more general appropriations because the RDT&E appropriation is a specific appropriation.
Federal Appropriations Law specifies that if a federal agency has a specific appropriation
(such as RDT&E for a particular budget item and also has a general Appropriation (such
as OE) which is broad enough to cover the same budget item, the specific appropriation
must be used exclusively. Further, when two appropriations are available to fund a
particular budget item (e.g. RDT&E and AC&I), neither of which specifies the item in
question, the agency may elect which appropriation it wishes to use to fund that item.
However, once it has made that election and has used the selected appropriation to fund
that item, it cannot change its election or use the other appropriation to fund the same item
in the future. Understanding both the nature and limits of the RDT&E appropriation is
essential to make prudent technology investment decisions. To ensure proper use of
RDT&E funds, a description of the function of the Research and Development (R&D)
Program and definitions of research, development, testing and evaluation are provided in
FUNCTION OF THE COAST GUARD R&D PROGRAM. The R&D Program's sole
responsibility is to improve the Coast Guard's performance by leveraging technology through
partnerships within the Coast Guard and within the research community, by keeping the Coast
Guard advised of high potential science and technology related opportunities, and by
delivering quality, well-targeted research and development products.
PROCESS FOR THE SELECTION OF RDT&E WORK. Enclosure (1) is an overview of the
New Product Gating (NPG) process that is used for the selection, continuation and
implementation/handoff of projects funded from the RDT&E appropriation.
ACCESSING RDT&E SERVICES. Enclosure (2) outlines the procedures for obtaining
RDT&E services. The previously-used Request for R&D Support has been replaced by an
Idea Submission form. The Coast Guard Intranet address to a sample of this form is also
provided. Additionally, Appendix D of each Headquarters directorate's Business Plan outlines
particular R&D requirements.
AUTHORIZED USE OF RDT&E FUNDS. RDT&E funds may only be used for activities
included in one or more of the five categories listed in Enclosure (3).
V. S. CREA
Director of Information and Technology
Encl.: (1) New Product Gating (NPG) Process
(2) Procedures for Obtaining RDT&E Services
(3) Authorized Uses of RDT&E Funds