OMB maps a plan for advancing SmartBuy

HERSHEY, Pa.—The Office of Management and Budget will develop an action plan by November describing how it will move the stalled enterprisewide software licensing program forward.

Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and IT, yesterday said OMB and the General Services Administration, which is running the program called SmartBuy, will brief the President’s Management Council after the plan is completed.

Evans was a keynote speaker at the Industry Advisory Council’s 13th annual Executive Leadership Council conference.

OMB’s decision to better map out the SmartBuy execution plan comes two weeks after Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), chairman of the Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census, questioned GSA’s progress in a letter to administrator Stephen Perry. (Click here for Sept. 26 GCN coverage)

“We are specifically addressing Congressman Putnam’s concerns in the action plan,” Evans said. “We need the PMC to buy into the action plan because they will execute it in the agencies.”

OMB and GSA already briefed the PMC, which is made up of deputy secretaries, about SmartBuy earlier this month, but will return later this year with specifics, Evans said.

Putnam’s concerns included the lack of meaningful progress in signing contracts with software vendors and agencies having to renew deals at a higher cost.

Evans said OMB and GSA also will develop a plan to communicate the benefits of SmartBuy to industry. So far, contractors have been skeptical of SmartBuy’s value to them.

“We have to have a good business model for everyone involved,” Evans said. “And we need to make sure they understand what the model is.”

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