WASHINGTON –U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Gary Peters’ (D-MI) legislation to save taxpayer dollars by improving management of how the federal government purchases and uses software has advanced in the Senate as it passed through the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The legislation builds on a law written by Cassidy to reduce duplicative software purchases called the MEGABYTE Act. Since being signed into law, this legislation has saved taxpayers more than $450 million. The legislation now moves to the full Senate for consideration.
“By requiring the federal government to keep track of its purchased software licenses, we saved taxpayers $450 million,” said Dr. Cassidy. “That’s a win for the taxpayer and a win for government efficiency. This bill builds on this effort to make government work better.”
“Requiring agencies to assess how they buy software will help lawmakers and the federal government formulate a plan to ensure we are effectively purchasing and managing these products,” said Senator Peters. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation will save taxpayer dollars, reduce waste and modernize government operations. I urge my colleagues to pass it as soon as possible.”
The bill would require agencies to conduct an independent, comprehensive assessment of their software licensing practices. This would be used by Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the General Services Administration (GSA) to increase federal oversight of software contracts in order to streamline operations and reduce wasteful spending.
Billions of dollars are spent on software purchases and license modifications every year. The current manner in which vendors sell software leaves agencies in the dark about what they are already using, causing them to purchase duplicative products.
This bill will reduce costs, improve governance, and enhance agency performance. It will also allow agencies to receive fairer, more cost competitive deals on their software assets and achieve important IT modernization goals.