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Cartwright Legislation Aimed at Saving $4 Billion a Year Unanimously Passes the U.S. House

Jun 8, 2016
Press Release

Washington, DC – Yesterday, U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright’s The Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act of 2016 passed the U.S. House 366-0.  Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Cartwright and 28 colleagues in April, reforms the federal government’s management of information technology software licenses by codifying and strengthening current efforts by the administration that have been estimated to as much as $4 billion a year.

For the 2nd year in a row the Government Accountability Office (GAO) listed IT software license management as a top priority in its annual duplication report.  A 2015 GAO report claimed that in fiscal year 2012, one major federal agency reported saving approximately $181 million by consolidating its enterprise license agreements even though its oversight process was ad hoc.  The GAO believes that implementing oversight and management policies of federal software licenses will save up to $181 million tax dollars per agency per year.

“I want to thank Senator Cassidy for his leadership in the Senate and I look forward to working with him to ensure that this legislation makes its way to the President’s desk,” said Rep. Cartwright.  “Of the twenty-four major federal agencies, only two have implemented policies of comprehensive and clear management of software licenses.  The MEGABYTE Act is the first in a series of steps we can take to minimize wasteful software spending, and to promote efficient procurement of technology.”

The MEGABYTE Act requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue directives to executive branch agencies on developing comprehensive software licensing policies. It also requires the agencies to report cost savings associated with implementing these policies.

The MEGABYTE Act achieves these cost savings through the following actions:

Directs the OMB OMB Director to require executive agencies to identify clear roles, responsibilities, and central oversight authority within the agency for managing enterprise software license agreements and commercial software licenses.

  • Agencies will also establish a comprehensive inventory, including 80 percent of software license spending and enterprise licenses in the agency.
  • Agencies will regularly track and maintain software licenses to assist the executive agency in implementing decisions throughout the software license management life cycle.
  • Agencies will analyze software usage and other data to make cost-effective decisions.
  • Agencies will provide training relevant to software license management.
  • Agencies will establish goals and objectives of the software license management program of the agency.
  • Agencies will consider the software license management life cycle phases, including the requisition, reception, deployment and maintenance, retirement, and disposal phases, to implement effective decision making and incorporate existing standards, processes, and metrics.