Cassidy’s bipartisan bill strengthens management of federal agencies and oversight of software assets

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A bipartisan bill co-sponsored Sept. 21 by U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) could help save taxpayers’ money by improving visibility, accountability, and oversight of federal agencies’ software asset management practices.

The Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act, S. 4908, which is sponsored by U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), would build on a 2016 law authored by Senator Cassidy known as the MEGABYTE Act . Since its enactment, the law has saved taxpayers millions of dollars by reducing duplicate software purchases, according to the senators.

“By requiring the federal government to keep track of its software licenses, we saved taxpayers $450 million,” Senator Cassidy said Monday. “It’s a win for the taxpayer and a win for government efficiency. This bill [S. 4908] builds on this effort to make government work better and save money.

If enacted, S. 4908 would require federal agencies to conduct an independent and comprehensive assessment of their software licensing practices, which would then be used by Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Administration. general services to increase federal oversight of software contracts, streamline operations and reduce unnecessary spending, according to a summary of the bill provided by Senator Cassidy’s staff.

“Requiring federal agencies to conduct thorough assessments of how they purchase and use software will ensure they make more informed decisions about how they purchase these technologies,” said Senator Peters.

Specifically, the legislation would require each agency’s plan to include a detailed strategy for correcting any software asset management deficiencies discovered during the agency’s comprehensive assessment; ongoing maintenance of software asset management after remediation is complete; and maximizing the effectiveness of software deployed by the agency, according to the text of the bill.

Among other provisions, each plan must also identify at least five categories of software that an agency will prioritize for conversion to enterprise licenses as software rights, contracts, and other agreements or arrangements for those categories become available. must be renewed or renegotiated, says the text. , and provide cost estimates and projected savings for moving to enterprise, open source, or other licenses that do not restrict the agency’s use of software.

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