OMB clears up SmartBuy

Initial SmartBuy Procedures

Federal agencies do not need to worry that the government's SmartBuy program would stop their plans for software purchases.

The Office of Management and Budget has updated information on the Internet about the SmartBuy enterprise licensing program. Officials hope it will clarify misunderstandings raised by OMB's initial June 5 letter to agencies, said Neal Fox, assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration's Office of Acquisition.

Agencies were especially concerned that the original letter was telling them not to buy any more software pending the establishment of governmentwide enterprise licenses. The new document says there is no ban on buying software.

"The OMB memo suggested agencies 'refrain' from entering into software agreements which would hinder the SmartBuy process," the document reads. "It would be impractical to levy a 'freeze' since it will take time to put agreements in place."

According to the document, agencies should check with the General Services Administration before entering into agreements of more than one year for widely used commodity software, such as antivirus applications or common office systems. Those products are most likely to have enterprise licenses established.

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