In a time when most experts are arguing against further government crackdown and regulations, the federal government has announced new mandates that will actually add increased regulations on software, at least for titles that government agencies will use. In a document with the pointlessly long name “Category Management Policy 16-1: Improving the Acquisition and Management of Common Information Technology: Software Licensing,” the government outlined the key ways that its agencies must incorporate software.
One of the chief additions is a ruling that organizations must adhere to a policy concerning pricing. Specifically, officials are barred from dealing with tech vendors whose user agreements forbid sharing information on pricing or other particulars. Part of the issue is that government entities rely more than ever on information sharing to streamline operations and to make their budgets work, and they can’t do that without keeping each other informed of tools that work.
Another aspect to these regulations will be an inventory database of software that agencies already use. This will enable agencies to share information and have a foundation for tech options that have been proven to work for other departments.
These regulations will also establish a centralized software manager within each agency who will oversee software agreements, updates, and licensing. The team of software managers will then work to form a best-practices document that provides guidelines for future software purchases. This will help agencies with a research guide they can consult, as well as give software managers a list of viable options for determining agreements down the road.
The regulations include extensive guidelines for different milestones through the end of 2016, along with stated goals that must be met at each point along the way. All of this is an effort to make the tech power of government agencies operate at its best.