Technology CEOs urged to join Trump initiative

Technology CEOs urged to join Trump initiative

Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, on Monday spoke about the need to modernize technology and data used by the federal government.

"Our goal is to lead a sweeping transformation of the federal government's technology that will deliver dramatically better services for citizens", he added.

White House officials said on a conference call on Friday that the administration believed there was an "economic opportunity" to save up to US$1 trillion over 10 years by significantly cutting government information technology costs, reducing government costs through improved IT, leveraging government buying power and cutting fraud across government agencies.

Technology CEOs are being urged by White House officials to pitch in on President Donald Trump's effort to modernize government.

The White House is seeking to shrink government, reduce the federal workforce and eliminate regulations.

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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.

An administration official said leaders from 18 companies are expected to attend, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Founders Fund's Peter Thiel and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent company, Alphabet. 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.

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. In 2015, there were at least 7,000 separate IT investments by the US government and some agencies were using systems that had components at least 50 years old. It seeks to overhaul government functions using ideas from the business sector. White House officials said the dispute had little impact and that they had to turn away tech leaders from Monday's event because of lack of space. In 2015, hackers exposed the personal information of 22 million people from US government databases.

The event comes after some technology executives clashed with Trump over his decision to exit the Paris climate accord.

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