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Library > Fact Sheets > Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) Program


Posted 1/3/2012 Printable Fact Sheet

Welcome to the Defense Priorities and Allocations System Program home page. This home page represents the DPAS activity under the Defense Production Act at the Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate.

The purpose of DPAS is to assure the timely availability of industrial resources to meet current national defense and emergency preparedness program requirements and to provide an operating system to support rapid industrial response in a national emergency. These web pages provide access to information, services, support, points of contact and links to sites related to DPAS.

What is DPAS:  The Defense Priorities and Allocations System (DPAS) was established to assure the timely availability of industrial resources to meet national defense requirements and provide a framework for rapidly expanding industrial resources in a national emergency.

DPAS is authorized under Title I of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, in which the President is empowered:

  • to require the priority performance of contracts and orders necessary to promote national defense, and
  • to allocate materials and facilities as necessary to promote national defense.
The responsibility to implement DPAS funnels down from...
The President

...through the...

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Advisor to the National Security Council on security resource preparedness; provides central coordination and procedures for conflict resolution between the Federal departments and agencies;

...through the...

Department of Commerce Who coordinates, administers, and enforces DPAS with respect to industrial resources;...

...to the...

Delegated Agencies (e.g., DoD, Energy, Transportation)

What is a Priority Rating
Priority Rating:  All prime contracts, subcontracts, or purchase orders in support of an authorized program are given priority rating

Priority Rating  =  Rating Symbol  +  Program Identifier

Program Identifier:  Each authorized program is assigned a program identifier symbol. The program identifier symbol does not, by itself, indicate any priority.

Where is a Priority Rating Used:  The DPAS rating is assigned to all military systems used in support of national defense, from the largest finished platform to the smallest component. It can be applied to all stages of acquisition research and development, initial design, production testing, delivery, and logistics support.

What is Special Priorities Assistance:  The DPAS is meant to be largely "self-executing", in that the basics are provided in the rated order thereby allowing use of the system without a great deal of interaction being required by a central office. However, production or delivery problems may occur which if not addressed will keep the producer from meeting required delivery dates.

Within the Air Force, there is a DPAS structure of full or part-time representatives available to help. Any activity along the acquisition or production chain, from the user to the buying activity, to the customer, to the prime contractor or the sub-tier contractor can initiate a Special Priorities Assistance (SPA) request.

When can I Use Special Priorities Assistance: Program/Logistics Managers can utilize special priorities assistance to:
  • Request support for impacted rated orders.
  • Accelerate deliveries of rated orders when a critical need arises
  • Resolve delivery conflicts between rated orders
  • Assist in placing rated orders with suppliers
  • Locate suppliers to fill a rated order
  • Verify urgency of rated orders
  • Rate items not automatically ratable
  • Ensure compliance with the DPAS
How Do I Receive Special Priorities Assistance:  To request Special Priorities Assistance, Program/Logistics Managers should contact their local contract administration representative or local DPAS Officer (DPASO) to the Air Force DPAS Program Office.

To request a priority rating authority for production or construction equipment, contact your local DPASO or the Air Force DPAS Program Office. 

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