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In Multi-Association Letter, BSA Expresses Concerns with Draft Legislation on Federal IT

WASHINGTON, DC — November 30, 2012 —

BSA | The Software Alliance today expressed concerns about legislation being developed to modify regulations covering federal acquisition of information technology. BSA’s comments came in a multi-association letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) regarding his draft Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. Other groups co-signing the letter included TechAmerica, The Coalition for Government Procurement, and the Information Technology Industry Council.

The associations together welcomed congressional interest in reforming how the government buys IT products and services, but warned against abandoning the principle of technology neutrality.

“We support the goal of government becoming more sophisticated as a customer of IT,” said BSA Vice President of Government Relations Katherine McGuire. “There are a number of specific provisions in Chairman Issa’s bill that we support, but there are also sections that raise serious concerns. We look forward to working with the Chairman in the months ahead to improve the bill so the federal government can maximize the return on its investment in IT to drive value for taxpayers.”

Together, the co-signing groups outlined five areas of concern with early drafts of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act:

  • The potential addition of new technology terms into statute, such as “Commodity IT,” could introduce unnecessary confusion and depart from well-established principles in government procurement law.
  • The draft legislation explicitly promotes the use of open-source software, thereby straying from the core principle that statutes should be technology neutral instead of favoring a particular products or services based on licensing, contracting, or business models used to develop them.
  • Any new legislation should reinforce Congressional intent to preserve government access to market goods and services through simplified, commercial transactions.
  • The current draft of the bill establishes new federal government IT procurement centers, which could create inefficient and competing agencies that move away from the established GSA schedules program.
  • As currently drafted, the legislation could have unintended consequences for small and minority owned businesses and other value added resellers.

Click here to download a copy of the letter.


About BSA

BSA |The Software Alliance ( www.bsa.org ) is the leading global advocate for the software industry. It is an association of world-class companies that invest billions of dollars annually to create software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. Through international government relations, intellectual property enforcement and educational activities, BSA expands the horizons of the digital world and builds trust and confidence in the new technologies driving it forward.

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11/30/2012
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About BSA

BSA | The Software Alliance (www.bsa.org) is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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