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IT Acquisition Reform Bill Passes House with Open Source Provisions

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The House has passed the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act not long after the botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website, and attempting to better control how some $80 billion is spent on IT procurement each year. Sponsored by the chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa, R-Ca., and committee member Gerry Connolly, D-Va., the bill establishes guidance on fully considering open source software as a procurement option without bias regarding how technology is developed, licensed and distributed. The bill, HR-1232, also requires federal computer standards to include guidelines necessary to enable effective adoption of open source software, and directs OMB to issue guidance for the use and collaborative development of open source software within the federal government. The bill further calls on OMB to develop a plan for conducting a government-wide inventory of IT assets and getting agencies to eliminate or consolidate any duplicate or overlapping websites, and permits CIOs to establish cloud service working capital funds.