The DOD plans to spend at least $31 billion on information technology products and services in fiscal year 2014, including software licenses. Further, the DOD engages in hundreds of licensing agreements annually. Effective management of software licenses can help organizations avoid purchasing too many licenses that result in unused software and/or too few licenses that result in noncompliance with license terms, which can lead to additional fees.
To help the DOD effectively manage its software licenses, section 937 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 mandated that the department issue a plan for developing a DOD-wide inventory of selected software licenses. The accompanying Senate report mandated that the GAO review the plan. In response to the Act, the DOD issued the plan in July 2013.