Maybe these treks to the White House are worth the effort for more idealistic reasons, too, as Code For America’s Jen Pahlka argues (The Washington Post): Everyone ought to benefit from a government run on better, more efficient systems.
The aim of the day, laid out in a ten-point document given to attendees in advance, is to help government streamline services and bureaucracy using technological solutions.
The council will also work on non-tech specific topics such as the H-1B visa program that the president has said he would cut back, drawing criticism from numerous country’s biggest companies.
During his remarks on Monday, Kushner spoke about what the Trump administration is doing to improve government efficiency, such as bringing more government agencies working in cloud-based computer infrastructure.
I expect some will privately voice their disapproval of several items on Trump’s agenda that cut against views long embraced by the tech community: restrictions on immigration, the rollback of net neutrality rules, and the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.
Tesla founder Elon Musk and Disney’s Robert Iger, both quit Trump’s high-powered business advisory panel a few weeks ago, after the president pulled the US out of the Paris climate accord. What’s more, modernizing government tech could save as much as $1 trillion, officials told The Wall Street Journal.
“Together we will unleash the creativity of the private sector to provide citizen services in a way that has never happened before”.
The chief executive officers of companies ranging from Amazon (the world’s largest internet company by revenue) to cloud computing giant VMware, held meetings with White House and other Trump administration officials to generate ideas to attempt to transform and modernize government services.
The officials also planned to discuss the H-1B visa program, which Trump has pledged to scale back despite the objections from Silicon Valley.
Kicking off the White House’s series of events dubbed “Technology Week”, the American Technology Council, chaired by President Donald Trump and headed by former Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell, convened 17 high-profile tech executives in the West Wing on June 19. Intel unveiled plans at the Oval Office in February to invest more than $7 billion in an Arizona factory, a move Trump portrayed as a win for USA workers. Gary Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, was one of the White House officials in attendance.
This is the first public statement Kushner has made since news broke of his involvement in the Russian Federation probe.
Following the meeting Monday, the White House plans to continue its so-called “tech week” push.