A new bill in the Senate would solidify moves made by the Obama administration to centralize software licensing and eliminate duplicate spending.
The bipartisan Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act of 2015, dubbed the MEGABYTE Act, is backed by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.). The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to direct agencies to establish software licensing policies with the goals of improving efficiency and use automated tools to maintain inventories of those licenses.
The government spends about $9 billion a year on software licenses. An OMB directive issued in December 2015 asked agencies to do a better job of managing those costs. In a blog post released along with the new policy, U.S. CIO Tony Scott and Office of Federal Procurement Policy Administrator Anne Rung stressed that better management can help save money.