WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced bipartisan legislation to save taxpayer dollars by improving management of how the federal government purchases and uses software. 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.
“By requiring the federal government to keep track of its 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 and save money.”
“Requiring federal agencies to conduct in depth assessments of how they buy and use software will ensure they are making better informed decisions about how they purchase these technologies,” said Senator Peters. “The federal government spends nearly $100 billion a year on federal information technology. By streamlining how federal agencies acquire and utilize software, this legislation will modernize government operations and save taxpayer dollars.”
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.