Congress

House bill looks to bank software savings

Capitol dome under renovation, July 22, 2015

A new House bill would put the onus on agency CIOs to extract savings from their portfolios of software licenses.

If passed into law, the Megabyte Act (short for Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act) mandates that the Office of Management and Budget issue directives to agency CIOs to make an inventory of existing software licenses, identify ways to make software acquisition more efficient and report on savings or cost avoidance in a public report.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.), passed out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on April 14.

A nearly identical bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) was referred to the full Senate by that chamber's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in February.  

Inefficient software licensing has nagged government for years. A recently announced White House plan looks to trim the government’s $9 billion spend on software licenses. That proposal drew a range of comments from industry and advocacy groups. 

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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