$3.5 trillion worth of technology CEOs and business leaders met Monday at the American Technology Council in order to brainstorm private sector solutions to government problems.
The White House set three objectives for the Office of American Innovation: to modernize government technology, to slash $1 trillion from government IT spending in the next 10 years, and to reenforce government cybersecurity. The group broke into ten panels to discuss of topics ranging from the Veteran’s Affair Department to big data.
“We’re embracing big change, bold thinking, and outsider perspectives to transform government and make it the way it should be, and at far less cost,” Trump said said as he opened the council Monday.
White House Senior Advisor and head advisor of the OAI Jared Kushner is leading the charge against government bureaucracy by auditing and revising infrastructure plans.
The council plans to cut costs by consolidating data centers to the cloud, eliminating unnecessary policies, and updating inefficient systems and websites, some which are up to 56 years-old. Kushner said that the Department of Defense still using floppy disks on “legacy systems” and that many current policies were instituted before the government used computers.
Kushner said that the digital advances will streamline government agency services.
“The VA has 532 forms on vets.gov, the majority of which are not accessible by modern browsers. Most services still use paper forms, including 90 percent of health care applications and 86 percent of claims,” Kushner said, adding that our veterans “deserve better.”
Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Dave Shulkin is set to announce new technology on Friday.
Although many of the 52 leaders disagree on policy, they came together to better serve the American people. Some of the suggestions were to increase research competition, to teach coding in school, to improve immigration policies, to harness artificial intelligence, and to use private sector entities rather than government ones.
The four-hour event also focused on citizen services, analytics, private and government partnerships, and HB-1 visas.
This was the first meeting of the committee Trump created in May to improve government efficiency.
“Our goal here is simple,” Kushner said Monday at the White House. “We are here to improve the day-to-day lives of the average citizen. That’s a core promise and we are keeping it.”