Golden Hammer: Feds' software licensing mismanaged, costly, GAO says

If you have a home computer and know what software programs are loaded onto it, you're already far ahead of some parts of the federal government.

That's because the government's multibillion-dollar information-technology infrastructure is fractured and disorganized, according to a report released last week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The government, Congress' top watchdog concluded, has trouble keeping straight software it actually owns.

"The federal government procures thousands of software-licenses agreements annually, and therefore, effectively managing them is critical," the investigative office said.

The GAO doesn't even know how much money is on the line because agencies don't have comprehensive records of what software they've purchased and what they're using.

But the potential for waste is high: The government plans to spend $82 billion on IT products and services in the current fiscal year.

This is this week's Golden Hammer Award story, a weekly award with investigative news partner The Washington Times that shines the spotlight on possible government waste and abuse of tax dollars.

For more on this story visit the Washington Times.