Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Economy | By Annette Adams

Technology CEOs urged to join Trump initiative


Monday's ceremonies were led by White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Assistant to the President Chris Liddell.

He said the administration was scrapping unneeded cyber compliance rules and should be able to consolidate and eliminate the vast majority of the government's 6,100 data centers and move to a cloud-based storage system.

"But we really want to engage your minds and get the best of the private sector applied to these problems", Liddell said during the introduction.

In May, Trump created an American Technology Council, his latest effort since taking office to modernize the US government.

Kushner spoke Monday about efforts to update how the federal government functions, addressing fellow members of the Trump administration and business leaders, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Apple CEO Tim Cook. IBM was prominent last week during the White House's push for apprenticeships.

At the moment, it seems to have been one grand showcase, with executives bringing up whatever issues is most relevant to their business and Trump responding with quips and thank yous, without assurances that there will be change.

In May, Trump asked lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in government spending over the next decade, taking aim at healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor in a budget that also boosted spending on defense.

A 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office report estimated the U.S. government spent more than $80 billion in IT annually, excluding classified operations.

Several of the executives complimented Jared Kushner, senior adviser and son-in-law to Trump, and his wife, Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and a senior adviser, for helping to drive the initiative.

"It is important to remember that forging a historic peace agreement will take time and to the extent that there is progress, there are likely to be many visits by both Kushner and Greenblatt, sometimes together and sometimes separately, to the region and possibly many trips by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators to Washington, D.C.", the official told The Washington Post.

US President Donald Trump has criticised the federal government technology as "painfully outdated" during a meeting with the heads of major tech companies including Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

The White House thinks it can take lessons from credit card companies in significantly reducing fraud.

Some technology executives have clashed with Trump over his decision to exit the Paris climate accord.

Like this: