U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Penn., introduced legislation to improve the efficiency of federal government software procurement and avoid unnecessary costs at the expense of American taxpayers.
The Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act would require federal agencies to submit their own comprehensive assessment of their software resources and purchasing practices, according to an announcement posted Thursday on Cartwright’s official website.
“Without in-depth assessments of how agencies buy and use software, vendors often have the upper hand in transactions with federal agencies. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will streamline software procurement practices governmentwide to the benefit of American taxpayers,” the congressman said.
The bill expands on the MEGABYTE Act, which was introduced by Cartwright and has reportedly spared over $450 million in U.S. tax dollars since its enactment in 2016.
Under the new legislation, government agencies would provide the independent reports to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the General Services Administration, as part of their annual budget proposals.
Based on the inventories, the branches’ chief information officers would develop cost-effective licensing agreements with justifiable negotiation provisions. OMB would then create a software modernization strategy in consideration of the CIOs’ audits and plans.
Co-sponsored by 14 other U.S. representatives, the draft bill is also supported by groups such as the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing and the Computer & Communications Industry Association.