City faces challenge in managing software licenses

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The city does not have complete information on what software licenses it has or how much those licenses are costing, according to a report from the city auditor’s office. Auditors reported Wednesday that the city spent $7.4 million in Fiscal Year 2020 on three main types of office licenses, but as they told the City Council Audit & Finance Committee, it appears that the city spent about $500,000 on licenses for users who never used the software.
Kelsey Thompson, who was in charge of the audit, described difficulties the city has in analyzing license usage and expenditures. Much of the problem seems to relate back to the fact that there is no centralized inventory of software licenses or costs, she said.
Although Communications and Technology Management is the primary technology department, other departments manage their own software licenses and CTM is sometimes left in the dark about those software purchases.
The city is clearly not following leading practices for managing software licenses prescribed by the Government Accountability Office, the report noted.
“There does not appear to be a standard way to capture software license costs across the city,” the report states. “The city has budget line items related to software. However, these budget …

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