Peters, Cassidy MEGABYTE Act Becomes Law

WASHINGTON— U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) applauded the president’s signing of the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act into law. Peters and Cassidy introduced the MEGABYTE Act in the US Senate in December 2015 after the nonpartisan 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. When implemented, the MEGABYTE Act could yield billions in savings across the federal government.

“Streamlining the management of the federal government’s software license purchases can save taxpayer dollars, reduce waste and make our government operate more efficiently,” said Senator Peters. “I was proud to work with Senator Cassidy and Rep. Cartwright on this commonsense legislation, and I’m pleased it was signed into law so that we can continue working to ensure Congress is using taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

“Billions of taxpayer dollars could be saved because federal agencies are now required to keep track of what software they buy,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I thank Sen. Peters and Rep. Cartwright for working with me to push this past the finish line.”

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.

The MEGABYTE Act advanced through the Senate on July 7, 2016. The House companion bill, introduced by Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-17), was passed on June 7, 2016. The bill was signed into law by the president on July 29, 2016.