The meeting also saw Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in attendance.
Kushner noted how over 500 Veteran’s Affairs documents are “not accessible on modern browsers” and that a 1980 “Paper Reduction Act” is so outdated that it didn’t even account for computerized systems or the Internet, yet has domain over all documents filed with the government online.
U.S. President Donald Trump participates in an American Technology Council roundtable, accompanied by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, left, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 19, 2017.
The meetings are expected to continue as the White House celebrates its tech meet.
The federal government spends more than $80 billion annually on information technology, employing about 113,000 computer professionals, according to the White House.
Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, made some of his first public remarks since joining the administration when he spoke Monday at an event for the American Technology Council. A Facebook spokesman told The Hill that the company was not at the summit due to a scheduling conflict, though they were invited to attend.
But other companies have supported aspects of the Trump agenda.
Many CEOs, including Schmidt, IBM and Microsoft, declined to comment as they entered the meeting.
“Government needs to catch up with the technology revolution”, Trump said on Monday. Intel unveiled plans at the Oval Office in February to invest more than $7 billion in an Arizona factory, a move that Trump portrayed as a win for US workers.
Chief among them is that the U.S. Department of Defense still uses 8-inch floppy disks, a stored media technology retired by most businesses back in the early 1980s. Kushner has said through his private attorney that he will cooperate with all inquiries, including the Mueller probe and a pair of congressional committee investigations.
“Our goal is to lead a sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology that will deliver dramatically better services for citizens, stronger protection from cyber attacks, which we were just discussing in the Oval Office with a little bit smaller group”, Trump said at the start of the meeting. The White House Office of American Innovation is hosting a series of working sessions to generate ideas to transform and modernize Government Services.
Prior to the meeting, the administration sought to downplay tensions between Silicon Valley and the White House.
The Council, which was constituted under an executive order signed on May 1, aims at orienting the President and the federal government’s use of technology policies and strategies.
“I think a lot of people are discouraged, to say the least, by what we’ve seen”, said Julie Samuels, the executive director of Tech: NYC, a group that represents New York-based tech firms. In 2015, hackers exposed the personal information of 22 million people from US government databases.
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.
I don’t care what Jared Kushner’s voice sounds like.