The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued another in a series of information technology (IT) policies to make the acquisition and management of common IT goods and services more efficient and save taxpayer dollars.
OMB’s new policy is another step toward leveraging better pricing from the $8 billion government agencies spend annually on PCs, software licenses, and mobile devices. In the past eight months, OMB issued policies on federal contracting for on workstations and mobile services.
Through more efficient “category management” buying practices, OMB reports that nearly $2 billion in savings have been realized since 2009 and the prices for laptop computers have dropped by as much as 50 percent. In addition, 700 duplicative professional services contracts have been eliminated.
The latest policy policy calls for agencies to move to a more centralized and collaborative software management approach. Agencies are required to appoint a software manager to: 1) centrally manage software buys and reduce underutilization, 2) maintain a continual inventory of software licenses and better track usage, 3) consolidate redundant applications, and 4) maximize the use of best-in-class solutions.
Moreover, OMB’s latest policy directive charges the Enterprise Software Category Team (ESCT) — a cross-governmental, cross-functional team of senior IT and acquisition professionals — to lead an effort and help break down silos in government IT acquisition actions to foster centralization and greater transparency. Specifically, the ESCT is to drive and monitor the development of government-wide software strategies, such as increasing the number and use of government-wide software agreements and improving software license management practices.
Access the new OMB policy here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2016/m-16-12_1.pdf.