Nunn-McCurdy Act: Background, Analysis, and Issues for Congress [December 26, 2012] [open pdf - 1MB]
"For 30 years, the Nunn-McCurdy Act (10 U.S.C. §2433) has served as one of the principal mechanisms for notifying Congress of cost overruns in Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs). Nunn-McCurdy establishes different thresholds to determine if an MDAP or designated major subprogram of an MDAP experiences a cost overrun (for purposes of this report, the term 'program' will refer to MDAPs as well as designated major subprograms). These thresholds are based on a comparison between a program's actual costs and the current baseline estimate or the original baseline estimate (defined below). A program that has cost growth that exceeds any of these thresholds is said to have a Nunn-McCurdy breach and must notify Congress of the breach."
CRS Report for Congress, R41293