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Interim Open Source Software (OSS) Policy

Purpose: To establish a framework to implement the requirements of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Federal Source Code Policy to achieve efficiency, transparency and innovation through reusable and open source software (OSS).

Scope: This policy applies to new custom-developed code created or procured by EPA consistent with the scope and applicability requirements of OMB’s Federal Source Code Policy. The final EPA Open Source Software Policy and Procedure will include further scope details for implementation. 

Audience: The audience for this policy includes, but is not limited to, EPA employees, contractors and volunteers (e.g., unpaid interns) who develop, implement, install, acquire, manage or publish custom-developed code.  

Background: In August 2016, OMB published the Federal Source Code Policy (Memorandum  M-16-21), which requires that federal agencies share new custom-developed code they create or procure for broad reuse across the federal government. The policy also requires agencies to release at least 20 percent of new custom-developed code to the public as OSS under a three-year pilot program. OMB additionally establishes principles and guidelines for federal agencies to engage with the open source community to collaborate on code development and improvement and solve shared challenges. These requirements aim to improve federal government software development within and across agencies, eliminating duplicative costs, reducing costs and fostering technological innovation through increased competition, and promoting openness, transparency and accessibility to the public. OMB directed each federal agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) – in consultation with the Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) – to develop an agency-wide policy to implement the requirements of the Federal Source Code Policy.  

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  • Interim Open Source Software (OSS) Policy (PDF)(10 pp, 214 K, 2018-01-11, CIO 2125.0)
    This policy establishes a framework to implement the requirements of OMB’s Federal Source Code Policy and requires EPA to share, document and manage its custom-developed code in accordance with M-16-21.