March 23, 2023
The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing, NetChoice, CCIA, Alliance for Digital Innovation, and TechNet Call on Congress to Pass the Software Assets Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act
These groups, representing a cross-section of U.S. businesses, urge the passing of this essential legislation to protect taxpayer dollars.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing joined NetChoice, the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the Alliance for Digital Innovation, and TechNet in a letter to U.S. House and Senate leadership, urging the inclusion of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act as part of any must-pass legislation in 2023 to protect taxpayer dollars.
This bipartisan legislation – first introduced in the 117th Congress and reported out of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in September 2022 – was reintroduced yesterday by Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA), as well as Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA-08) and a bipartisan group of 10 House members. If enacted into law, all federal agencies would be required to conduct a comprehensive assessment of their respective software licensing contracts – offering key insights on costs, management, and cybersecurity risk.
“The complexity of federal software purchasing and management, along with restrictions placed on how the software is run, prevents federal agencies from using the most innovative, cost-effective, interoperable and secure software and cloud services of choice,” the group wrote. “Further, hidden fees and unnecessary spending deplete government resources and put hard-earned taxpayer dollars at risk of waste, fraud, and abuse. These reports will help to inform ongoing efforts to modernize the federal government and improve the value of federal IT.”
According to a recent report by Michael Garland, the U.S. government could save $500 to $750 million annually by addressing systemic issues and embedded restrictions with their software licensing agreements. The reintroduction of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act is a major first step in the right direction.
“The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing applauds Senators Peters and Cassidy, as well as Representative Cartwright, for their continued, bipartisan leadership on this pivotal issue,” said Coalition for Fair Software Licensing Executive Director Ryan Triplette. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that Congress prioritizes the passage of the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are spent effectively and our federal agencies are not constrained by restrictive software licensing tactics.”
“Passing the Strengthening Agency Management and Oversight of Software Assets Act will be integral to building a healthier, more responsible, and more efficient federal government,” said NetChoice. “The requirements of this bill will help eliminate wasteful federal spending that is currently pervasive in the U.S. government from restrictive, anticompetitive software licensing practices.”
“We encourage policymakers to recognize the far-reaching positive impacts of this bill,” said Josh A. Rogin, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA). “A comprehensive overview of federal software licensing will increase agency coordination and help realize new ways to advance projects which directly benefit U.S. taxpayers.”
“The government needs to know what it’s buying as agencies move rapidly to modern, secure cloud based solutions,” said Ross Nodurft, Executive Director of Alliance for Digital Innovation. “We support providing agencies with the knowledge they need to make the most informed technology decision possible to support their missions.”
The full text of the letter can be read here.
Sens. Peters and Cassidy were joined by Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Joni
Ernst (R-IA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) in introducing the legislation.
Rep. Cartwright was joined by Reps. Andre Carson (D-IN-7), Ed Case (D-HI-1), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-37), Pat Fallon (R-TX-4), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1), Nancy Mace (R-SC-1), Daniel Meuser (R-PA-9), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-At Large), Katie Porter (D-CA-47), and Jill Tokuda (D-HI-2) in introducing the House legislation.
About the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing
The Coalition for Fair Software Licensing is a North American-based initiative seeking to unlock greater customer choice, innovation, and security in the cloud by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing. Our members span a cross-section of key industries, including healthcare companies, financial services businesses, as well as cloud and cybersecurity providers – each one has experienced or been exposed to anticompetitive and abusive software licensing practices in the cloud. Together, we are taking a stand against these predatory practices by advocating for the Principles of Fair Software Licensing to ensure more choice, innovation, and security in the cloud.