CIO Council issues guidelines to fight federal software piracy

A committee for the CIO Council released model guidelines today that will help agencies comply with last year's executive order on computer software piracy.

The executive order, signed by President Clinton Sept. 30, 1998, set forth the government's policy against using, acquiring and distributing software illegally. The order requires federal agencies to establish procedures for managing software, such as audits and employee education programs, to ensure the legal and proper use of software. It also calls for copyright compliance by federal contractors and recipients of federal financial aid.

The CIO Council's Outreach Committee's model guidelines, released at the FOSE show in Washington, D.C., offer samples of policies covering software management, use and acquisition that agencies can adopt to comply with the executive order. The guidelines also discuss the role of the chief executive officer, recordkeeping approaches and training, said Alan Balutis, the deputy CIO at the Commerce Department.

For example, the guidelines assign CIOs the overall responsibility for implementing agencies' software management policies. For recordkeeping, the guidelines establish and maintain a recordkeeping system for software licenses and invoices.

The CIO Council is expected to adopt the guidelines next month, Balutis said.

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