Planning Check Lists

Pre-LOR and Post-LOR Meetings

Following are key topics or agenda items to structure discussions that define and clarify customer requirements via an LOR. These reviews or meetings, chaired by the IA, may be convened in person or remotely. These activities are resourced by FMS Admin Funding, tailored to the task involved, and at minimal expense. Some preparation or training for U.S. participants may be in order, depending on the nature of the project, such as with non-standard programs. Topics can be modified to suit the particular situation and apply to either Pre- or Post-LOR, to help draft a complete LOR, or to achieve better understanding after the IA receives and reviews the LOR. It is important to note when determining requirements to be included in a LOR that the least risky and most cost efficient and timely response will be to those that match U.S. programs of record (POR).

Table 2. Pre-LOR and Post-LOR Reviews Outline

Area Details

Partner nation overarching requirements and program objectives


  • Regional and strategic context
  • Desired capabilities
  • Partner nation program/project organizational structure; key counterparts within the Country Team or partner country defense office(s)
  • Previous reviews and information, such as past Pricing and Availability (P&A) or Site Survey data
  • Time objectives and restraints; desired delivery timeframe
  • Partner nation financial processes, deadlines, and need to synchronize funding (i.e. CY or FY budget cycles)


U.S. Program Description and Organization


  • Current U.S. program of record and available capabilities


U.S. baseline for the system (include pictures, diagrams, etc.)


  • Configuration
  • Performance
  • Versions/upgrades and schedule


U.S. Government FMS Case Supporting Organizations


  • Key positions
  • Chain of command to senior Service leadership
  • Provide organization chart
  • Facilities (location, purpose)


U.S. Management Structure and Manning (military, U.S. Government civilian, and contractor)


  • Program Manager (PM)
  • Country Program Manager/Director United States Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC), Navy International Program Office (NIPO),Deputy, Under Secretary of the Air Force for International Affairs ( SAF/IA), and Air Force Security Assistance and Cooperation (AFSAC)
  • Role of FMS key offices Security Assistance Management Directorate ((SAMD), System Command (SYSCOM), Support Operation Officer (SPO), Life Cycle Management Center (LCMC), etc.
  • Case Manager
  • Program engineers
  • Cost analysts
  • Product support
  • Engineering data management
  • Contracting officer
  • Financial manager
  • Test and Evaluation (T&E) manager
  • Integrated Product Teams


Non-Standard and Non-Program of Record requirements


  • Ability of U.S. offices to respond or assist
  • Other U.S. capabilities that could fulfill the partner requirement
  • IA offices with ability to contract unique or non-standard


Detailed review of Customer Requirements


  • Review LOR and any earlier discussions or exchanges
  • Review capability and configuration options


Country capability needs


  • Number of systems and configuration
  • Desired locations for those systems
  • Country concept of operation and operational tempo
  • Operational or strategic effect
  • Maintenance requirements and locations
  • Involvement by other parties (allies, neighboring countries, international organizations)
  • Country required delivery dates




  • Country target budget
  • Country financial system, requirements, deadlines
  • Use of a payment schedule; Dependable Undertaking; Special Billing Arrangements
  • Any unique payment schedule requirements
  • Requests for additional financial briefings or information from DSCA or Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)




  • Country desired acquisition method (FMS or FMS/DCS hybrid arrangement)
  • Synchronization concerns for hybrid arrangements (matching FMS delivery to DCS program schedule)
  • International competition involved
  • Special acquisition approaches (related to capability need, timeline, and affordability)
  • Any sole source or limited source direction




  • Existing country logistics capabilities related to the proposed sale (facilities, support equipment, trained personnel, etc.)
  • Country maintenance concept
  • Life Cycle Cost - Level of spares/repairs support for long-term support
  • Country requested support equipment
  • Transportation requirements/preferences
  • Country requested material handling equipment (MHE)
  • Country facilities (construction) requirements


Country data requirements


  • Additional requirements beyond standard operations and maintenance
    • Discuss LOA standard terms and conditions
    • Discuss potential restrictions (to include possible Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM-imposed restrictions) to use beyond government rights
    • Discuss potential cost implications
  • Publications that must be tailored to country needs
  • Technology release




  • Country preference for in-country or CONUS training
  • Performed by DoD, contractor, or hybrid
  • Training devices required and available
  • English capability of target training audience
    • English Language Training (ELT) required
    • Number of students and levels
    • Estimated timeline and throughput to meet training requirements
    • Availability and adequacy of country personnel for training


Program Management


  • Does country require a Liaison office, CONUS Foreign Liaison Office, Country Liaison Officer, or U.S. Field Office


Transportation and Delivery


  • Advanced planning for transportation of materiel
  • Delivery Term Code to manage transportation and delivery from the point of origin (typically CONUS) to the purchaser’s desired destination (Air or Surface shipment)


LOA development milestones/p>


  • Review the calendar of key events applicable to the program. (Can be expressed in terms of days or months after LOR submission or LOA implementation.) Key events may include:
    • Pre-LOR technical discussions
    • Receipt of LOR
    • LOR Quick Look by the IA
    • LOR marked Complete
    • Post LOR Receipt meeting with country
    • Congressional Notification submitted by the Military Department
    • Congressional Notification final Congressional approval estimated completion
    • Other key process steps, such as Country Team Assessment or Yockey Waiver
    • Transportation Plan (per SAMM Chapter 7)
    • Hybrid arrangements (relationship of FMS case to other procurements/DCS)
    • Anticipated LOA Offer Date (AOD)
    • Anticipated country signature and country budget requirements
    • LOA implementation
    • Anticipated contract award
    • Anticipated delivery or service completion


The Program Plan is an abbreviated Acquisition Plan. It can be provided to the foreign partner either as a stand-alone document or as a briefing. It is derived from the Defense Acquisition Guidebook, Chapter 10 "Acquisition of Services," located at:

The Program Plan was found to be a useful means to show the partner nation the wide range of technical and management considerations that are addressed as a normal part of U.S. acquisition but is usually equated with a planning case or support case to justify the time intensive requirements to develop and sustain. The Program Plan is generally considered above standard level of service per SAMM Table C9.T2. Program Plan topics include:

Table 3. Draft Program Plan Outline

Area Details

Top-level description of the Program


  • What is being purchased and how many?
  • Identify linkage to other programs (United States and Partner)
  • Identify any unique aspects of the program
  • Special/non-standard requests in the LOR
  • Sole source, expedited delivery, lease
  • Identify the major acquisition phases


Current U.S. assumptions for the FMS case


  • For example:
    • Site survey, training needs assessment, and provisioning definitization to be conducted within x days of LOA signature
    • Expedited first delivery x months after contract award
    • Funding set-aside for Diminishing Manufacturing Sources (DMS)
    • Technical publications and training will be in English
    • No facilities, utilities, or support infrastructure required
    • Offset costs to be included in pricing


Major Issues


  • Show stoppers and other concerns to highlight up front
  • Information still needed from the purchasing country


Acquisition Strategy


  • Define the approach the program will use to achieve full capability: either evolutionary or single step
  • Include a brief rationale to justify choices


Notional/draft acquisition timeline


  • Projected integrated master schedule
  • Include critical path


Affordability Strategy


  • Describe the approach to achieving affordability
  • Identify changes to quantities, such as Economic Order Quantities (EOQs), necessary to achieve target
  • Identify schedule changes necessary to achieve target
  • Impact of procurement rate (i.e. EOQ) and schedule on the affordability target
  • Identify potential issues in meeting capability requirements within the affordability target


Initial Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) price estimate, to include (where applicable):


  • Weapon system
  • Spares
  • Ammunition
  • Support equipment
  • Repair of repairable (ROR) and calibration requirements
  • Publications and software
  • U.S. Government and contractor technical services
  • Other services (including manpower and travel)
  • Training
  • Transportation
  • Facilities
  • Administrative surcharge
  • Storage or consolidation point


Computational basis for ROM pricing, such as:


  • Contractor P&A data
  • U.S. Government precedent pricing from similar programs
  • Recent FMS precedent
  • Recent definitized contracts


Risk and Mitigation Strategy


  • Identify risks on single chart with x-axis capturing the likelihood of the risk and the y-axis capturing seriousness of the risk. For each risk identified as “moderate” or “high” provide an additional pre-mitigation assessment slide that includes:
    • Risk Statement
    • Impact Statement worded in programmatic and/or operational terms
    • Impact rating: High, moderate, low or red, yellow, green
    • Probability: Range of probability
    • Initial risk rating: High, moderate, low or red, yellow, green
    • Risk handling plan: Describes what the SAMD/PM can do to try to avoid having the risk event occur (lower the probability) and/or reduce impact if the risk event occurs.
    • Post risk management/mitigation rating: The expected risk rating assigned after planned mitigation efforts.


Product Support


  • General support concept
  • Maintenance concept
  • Supply concept. Include discussion on Interim Contractor Support and Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) (if relevant).
  • DMS considerations
  • Approaches that can be taken to reduce demand for product support
  • Considerations for transition to sustainment
  • Country unique publications/manuals
  • Estimated timeline/milestones associated with product support, for example:
    • U.S. Government and/or contractor-furnished product support would need to be available by (date) to meet desired delivery timeline
    • Mission-critical in-country support resources, material, and equipment would need to be in place no later than (date)
    • Expected Period of Performance for post-delivery product support services


Training Strategy


  • General training concept
  • English Comprehension Level requirements for trainees
  • Approaches that can be taken to reduce the need for training
  • Estimated timeline/milestones associated with training


Technical Data Rights


  • Does the country require technical data rights?
  • Potential price impact of providing additional data, if available
  • Possible strategies employed to buy technical data/data rights
  • For a competitive procurement, describe evaluation factors that may be used to assess the price and adequacy of the technical data during source selection.
  • Discuss merits of including a priced contract option for future (or deferred) delivery of technical data and intellectual property rights
  • Approach used to ensure delivery and adequacy of data
  • Use of withholds or warranties
  • How to verify contractor assertions on restricted use and release of data


Competition Strategy


  • How a competitive environment will be sought, promoted, and sustained throughout all program phases
  • Customer-unique contract requirements, contract type, incentives, etc.
    • If sole source, identify legal authority and rationale for applicability
  • If not sole source, discuss source selection procedures
    • Describe source selection organization
    • Address the source selection experience of the team
    • Discuss expected evaluation criteria and weighting
      • Explain any relationship to identified risks
      • Discuss discriminators




  • Type of contract to be used and why
  • Existing or expected contract structure (length, options)
  • Measures that can be used to control contract costs
  • Special Terms and Conditions
  • Subcontractor Management
    • Make-or-Buy considerations
  • Use of incentives
    • How can incentives be used to mitigate risks and improve probability of success
    • What objective incentives might be considered and why
    • Planned use of negative incentives for overrun or poor performance
  • Describe opportunities/options for customer visibility into the contracting process:
    • Opportunity to review Statement of Objective/Statement of Work
    • Opportunity to review Section M, Evaluation Factors for Award, of the RFP (for competitive purchase)
    • Contracting Officer provide a post-award debriefing
    • Contracting Officer provide a summary of the Price and Negotiation Memorandum
    • LOA-to-Contract tracking matrix


Transportation and Delivery


  • Advanced planning for transportation of materiel; clear articulation of services performed, including accessorial services
  • Use of Defense Transportation System or employment of an agent (freight forwarder)
  • Delivery Term Code to manage transportation and delivery from the point of origin (typically CONUS) to the purchaser’s desired destination.
  • Submission and approval of Transportation Plan. Developed by the IA, and required for each LOA containing Classified, Sensitive Items, or Arms, Ammunition, and Explosives.


LOA Line-By-Line Review

This event is used to review with the partner country the major elements of the case prior to formal offer. The IA may offer a briefing to the customer to explain what the LOA will contain. Upon request, DSCA may grant the use of the draft LOA itself. This kind of line-by-line review ensures understanding at the working level and prepares the partner country staff to explain the LOA to their senior leadership. Care must be taken to provide suitable caveats that the information is still tentative. Draft response documents normally contain the wording: “This document does not represent an offer from the United States Government. It is provided for information purposes only to assist in planning. Details remain subject to the potential for change prior to formal offer.” The LOR-to-LOA matrix (explained below) can be used at this juncture to show how the LOA fulfills partner requirements and to explain related LOA notes.

The following checklist can be used to structure the review of a draft LOA with the foreign partner:

Table 4. LOA Line-By-Line Review

Area Details

Review Customer Requirements


  • Review highlights of the LOR and the original requirements by the partner
  • Updates to requirements stemming from other inputs and discussions
  • Special/non-standard requests in the LOR (expedited delivery, sole source, lease, etc.)
  • Review LOA development milestones, updated from the Pre-LOR or Post-LOR meetings


LOA Line-by-Line Discussion


  • Provide one slide for each line of the LOA. Information provided should include:
    • Line number
    • Nomenclature
    • Quantity
    • Dollar cost
    • Period of performance (beginning month # to ending month #)
    • Description of the item or service
    • Special notes highlighting any peculiarities of the line, for example:
      • For a radio line item, noting that some components are included with the end-item line (line 001) and that a key generator is included on a later Communications Security line
      • For a technical order line, noting that reproduction is a country responsibility
        • For an upgrade/modification line, noting that the line will be executed only if directed by the customer
      • For manpower lines, provide an explanation of the basis of estimate for the cited cost (past precedent, historical data, and/or contractor-furnished estimates/proposals)


Pricing roll-up including (as applicable)


  • System
  • Spares
  • Ammunition
  • Support equipment
  • Repair of repairables and calibration
  • Publications and software
  • U.S. Government and contractor technical services
  • Other services (including manpower and travel)
  • Training
  • Facilities
  • Packaging, crating, and handling
  • FMS administrative surcharge
  • Total program cost


Estimated payment schedule.


  • Information provided should include:
    • Payment dollar value for each month of the life of the program
    • Cumulative payment for each month of the life of the program
    • Showing by-month payment size over the life of the program
    • Showing cumulative payment growth over the life of the program


What is not included in the pricing


  • e.g. petroleum, oils, lubricants, facilities, infrastructure, freight forwarder


LOR-to-LOA matrix


  • Matrix that tracks each requirement in an LOR to a specific LOA line (or lines) where the requirement is addressed, discussed below.




  • What LOR requirements were not met and why?
  • Other elements of risk


Next steps


  • Case pre-countersignature meeting
  • Case offer, implementation, and execution


LOR-To-LOA Requirements Matrix

An LOR-to-LOA Requirements Matrix is used to show how and where the specific requirements in the customer’s LOR are supported or fulfilled in the LOA. This can be used to support the LOA line-by-line review or other discussion about what the LOA provides; or can be delivered to the FMS partner as a stand-alone document for reference when comparing the LOR to the offered LOA. The matrix format should be tailored to the particular aspects and detail of the program involved and tailored to the unique approach used by the military department.

Item # LOR Requirement U.S. Government Assumptions LOA Line # Item Description Line Manager Notes Remarks





























Resources Implications

The Pre-LOR and Post-LOR discussions, the LOA line-by-line review, and the LOR-to-LOA matrix can nominally be considered a part of standard level of service and may be funded via FMS Admin on a case-by-case basis. Virtual meetings and other economic options should be used where possible. More rigorous efforts, such as the creation of a Program Plan, depends on a cost-benefit analysis by the customer with the IA and DSCA, to determine if separate funding via a Planning Case is required.

Lessons Learned

This guidance is based on transparency test cases that involved challenging customer requirements. Activity so far has focused on pre- and post-LOR meetings with foreign procurement officials. The discussions during those meetings focused on unique requirements such as mission, maintenance, upgrades, and interoperability.

Transparency test cases will continue to draw lessons from other selected procurement programs. So far, the following insights have emerged:

  • The direct partner official and U.S. subject matter expert (i.e., program office) exchange of information gave the country the ability to clarify unique requirements that could not be adequately explained in an LOR and provided the U.S. team an opportunity to explain how they planned to meet those objectives and identify potential tradeoffs, issues, and challenges.
  • A structured agenda of topics made meetings more substantive and complete.
  • Detailed discussions – up front – preempted many of the questions held by the country and demonstrated the rigor and completeness of the U.S. procurement process.
  • Additional resources may need to be addressed where the work is above standard level of service.

Comments by participants led to the impression that structured communications and deliberative planning will result in reduced time and effort through the life of the case.

Additional Tools for Transparency

For insight into FMS case information, or ways to develop customer requirements that align to U.S. programs, please utilize the following documents/websites:

DSCA FMS Foreign Customer Guide

This online document provides the FMS customer with a simplified overview of the United States’ process to transfer defense articles and services to friendly foreign governments or to specific international organizations. It can be found on the DSCA website under Publications, or at

DSCA FMS Foreign Customer Guide, Appendix 1 – Letter of Request (LOR) Guide

The online Customer Guide contains an excellent reference to assist with drafting LORs and to present the types of information required to make it complete.

The Security Cooperation Information Portal

SAMM Section C2.1.5.1. addresses Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP), a web-based system that provides both U.S. Government personnel and international customers with access to a wealth of FMS case-related data. The data is drawn from Military Department (MILDEP) case execution systems and other financial and logistics sources. International customers can access SCIP via secure electronic “tokens.” Training is available through courses taught at Defense Institute of Security Cooperation (DISCS), or via DISCS online training slides at For further information, access:

Military Department Websites

Organization Link


U.S. Army Security Assistance Command
Weapons System Checklists – to assist FMS customers in the preparation of LORs for P&A data and LOAs.

Navy, USMC

U.S. Navy International Programs Office

Air Force

U.S. Air Force International Affairs

U.S. Air Force Security Assistance Command (AFSAC) – AFSAC Online
Informational resources for foreign partner support including Supply Discrepancy Reports, WWRS, CLSSA, etc. – LOR Capabilities Checklists
To help guide customer discussions to develop complete and actionable requirements for an LOR.