NASA Addresses OMB M-16-21 Federal Source Code Policy

Nov 10, 2016

In August 2016, OMB released M-16-21, which seeks to ensure that new custom-developed Federal source code be made broadly available for reuse across the Federal Government. M-16-21 also requires agencies, when commissioning new custom software, to release at least 20 percent of new custom-developed code as Open Source Software (OSS) for three years, and to collect data concerning new custom software to gauge performance. This approach is consistent with the Digital Government Strategy “Shared Platform” approach, which enables federal employees to work together—both within and across agencies—to reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information. To assist federal agencies with further implementing this new policy, OMB has recently released a new website called

Screen capture of The People's Code website homepage.

NASA OCIO is the responsible office to develop, maintain, disseminate, and implement new policy and procedural requirements of M-16-21 and is pleased to announce that it has posted two documents to meet the first OMB milestone. The first document posted is a memo signed by NASA CIO Renee Wynn and additionally we are posting a strategy guide on steps NASA will be taking to fully implement M-16-21 within the agency.

NASA will continue to work on code sharing both as part of OMB M-16-21 and internally to improve code reuse. As a next step for implementing OMB M-16-21, NASA will begin working on creating and posting a code inventory on to meet milestone 2 which is due in Dec 2016.

Screen capture of the homepage.

This post was originally published on the openNASA blog.