Encryption Software Goes Local

The General Services Administration will announce next week that its software purchasing vehicle SmartBUY will launch a schedules contract for purchasing certified encryption tools, according to an Office of Management and Budget official.

Karen Evans, OMB's administrator of electronic government and information technology, said Thursday that the contract will be available for state and local governments, making it the first of its kind since the 2002 E-Government Act opened up that option. GSA's SmartBUY program is intended to support bulk purchasing of software by aggregating the federal government's purchasing power.

"This is really good," Evans said. "This is the first one where we've exercised the intent of the E-Government Act with that provision."

Evans said that the Defense Department's Enterprise Software Initiative is involved in the contract along with the chief information security office for the state of New York.

The contract "is for us, but we added state and local governments on it," Evans said. "They get the same pricing and benefits of our volume. This is big. We've broke new ground. We had a lot of lawyers involved making sure all of this would work right."

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