December 7, 2015

Cassidy, Peters Introduce Legislation to Reform IT Management Systems, Save Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act of 2015 to reform the federal government’s management of information technology (IT) software licenses. The non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that implementing oversight and management policies of federal software licenses saved a single agency $181 million tax dollars per year. If implemented, the MEGABYTE Act could yield billions in savings across the federal government

“Billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved if federal agencies keep track of what software they buy. It’s irresponsible they don’t do so already,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Tax dollars could be better used on our troops and our classrooms, not redundant software licenses.”

“Congress has a responsibility to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used efficiently and effectively,” said Senator Peters. “The federal government could potentially save billions of dollars every year by requiring better management of federal software license purchases. I’m proud to help introduce this commonsense measure that will cut wasteful spending and save taxpayers money.”

The legislation is a follow up to Dr. Cassidy’s letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan on June 2, 2015 concerning federal agencies wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on the lack of management and the duplication of software licenses for these agencies.

The MEGABYTE Act saves tax dollars and cuts government waste through the following actions:

  • The OMB Director shall issue a directive requiring 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.
  • Regularly track and maintain software licenses to assist the executive agency in implementing decisions throughout the software license management life cycle.
  • Analyze software usage and other data to make cost-effective decisions.
  • Provide training relevant to software license management.
  • Establish goals and objectives of the software license management program of the agency.
  • 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.