June 8, 2016

Cassidy’s MEGABYTE Act Moves through Congress

WASHINGTON— US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) applauded the passage of the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act in the US House of Representatives.

Dr. Cassidy introduced the bill with Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) in the US Senate in December, 2015 after 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 kept 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.”

“The federal government could potentially save taxpayers billions of dollars by improving the way we manage the purchases of federal software licenses,” said Senator Peters. “I’m pleased the House passed this bipartisan, commonsense measure that will help cut wasteful spending and ensure tax dollars are being used effectively.”

The MEGABYTE Act advanced through the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on February 10, 2016 and is awaiting passage in the Senate. The House companion to Dr. Cassidy’s bill was introduced by Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17).

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.

Committed to reducing government waste, Dr. Cassidy also introduced the Eliminating Government-Funding Oil-Painting (EGO) Act, which bans the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars on oil paintings of presidents, vice presidents, cabinet secretaries or members of Congress, which can often cost $40,000 each.