Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act: MEGABYTE Act

March 8, 2017 by The GTech Marketing Team

In 2014, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed that of the 24 major federal agencies, 2 have comprehensive policies that define roles and authority for managing software license agreements, 18 have policies that are not comprehensive, and 4 have not implemented policies. The oversight was due, in part, to the lack of direction from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the lack of prioritizing the issue.

The Federal Government annually spends over $6 billion through 42,000 transactions. Decentralized purchases are common, and federal agencies lack the tools to manage the purchased assets. Because software represents a considerable IT investment for the Federal Government, on June 2, OMB issued Category Management Policy 16-1 that introduced requirements for federal agencies. The memo made it essential to employ a centralized software license management strategy for each agency and to use trained personnel to attend it. Also, agencies would now have to keep a closer eye on software inventories and analyze and report savings that concern their strategies. Following this event, on July, President Obama signed the Making Electronic Government Accountable by Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act. MEGABYTE made it imperative for Executive Agency CIOs to meet OMB standards. So in 2016, many federal Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Category Managers, and Software Asset Managers worked laboriously to address federal mandates.

The General Services Administration (GSA) is helping agencies with the implementation effort. By hosting weekly information sessions, they are informing managers of the 24 agencies about the benefits of the MEGABYTE Act. These include greater use of IT infrastructure and Software Category Management. Incorporating these two activities will lead to significant savings and cost avoidance, which can further be used to re-invest in IT modernization.

In the future, GSA plans to create a platform for managers to share tips with other agencies. They also plan to make a website and produce webinars for CIOs to learn about updates on policy and about technological advancements.