Apple execs, other tech firms to talk immigration, government modernization in White House meeting

“The White House plans to huddle with top executives from Apple, Facebook, Google and other tech giants next month to brainstorm ways that the U.S. government can put more of its ‘citizen services’ online and tackle thorny policy issues like high-skilled immigration,” Tony Romm reports for Recode.

“Both items are part of a lengthy agenda — obtained by Recode on Friday — that awaits the inaugural gathering of the American Technology Council, an effort by President Donald Trump to modernize the inner-workings of Washington that’s being spearheaded by his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner,” Romm reports. “Many federal agencies currently offer a ‘very poor experience defined by outdated websites, unhelpful call centers, and thousands of pages of paper-based forms,’ the Trump administration believes. To that end, it’ll ask some of Silicon Valley’s biggest brands to share their ideas for making government ‘more intuitive, user-friendly and effective.'”

“The initiative itself lives under the umbrella of Kushner’s Office of American Innovation, which aspires to cure longtime, unresolved government ills, such as the poor, aging technology in use at the Department of Veterans Affairs,” Romm reports. “Beyond immigration, the president’s initiative is looking for potential reforms to how Washington buys its computers, software and other tech tools, according to a copy of the invite.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Eliminating waste of time and materials and making interactions with government entities “more intuitive, user-friendly and effective” would certainly be welcome, as anyone who’s ever wasted hours at the DMV can attest.


    1. When has Google, Facebook, and the rest cared about the security of your data? Trump just invited more foxes into the henhouse. What would you expect from a president who considered Fox News to be on par with his national security advisers, and considers Twitter to be a reliable way to run the executive branch?

  1. Unfortunately, many of the Fed’s probl ms stem from years of budget cuts, which have strangled any ability to modernize their own infrastructure.

    Bottom line is one that any good business knows: you need to reinvest to gain the benefits.

    1. Which budget cuts specifically? There’s no incentive for the government to be more efficient, it needs to be dismantled department by department to the greatest extent possible. Everyone should know that bureaucrats spending other people’s money will ALWAYS waste it, businesses can’t afford to.

      1. Anyone that tells you they work in a corporation that has ZERO waste is lying to you 🙂 The only difference is that government waste is made public. Corporate waste is shuffled under a different cost center in order to hide the fact that it ever happened in the first place.

        1. Your assertion is, shall we say, contra-factual. The incentive to be more efficient is that the people at the top of the hierarchy are elected officials and political appointees who have to keep the public happy in order to retain their jobs.

          Example: Every single study of the Medicare system shows that it is more efficient (spends more of its income on actual health care) than any private health insurance company.

          Thanks to the various Open Government laws like the Freedom of Information Act, waste in government is easier to discover than private waste. Because there are more taxpayers than stockholders in any single corporation, there are more interested readers and therefore more press coverage of such waste. Even publicly-held companies can hide a lot, and closely-held companies can hide almost everything.

          I’m not saying government is perfect, but having been in both work environments, it was clear that the government employees were providing at least as much value as the private workers, and generally for lower salaries with more public scorn.

      2. Enjoy your future airline flight with zero weather forecasts, no pilot fatigue rules, no airframe inspection regs, and no air traffic control system. I’m sure it will be smashing.

        But seriously, your “bureaucrats” mantra reveals how shallow you are on the overall topic on the development of public policy, infrastructure, natural monopolies (& regulation thereof), etc. So perhaps a quick case study would be helpful to you: go find the Bengazi investigstion’s lessons learned report and its recommendations for what State had to go fix … and the crosswalk those to the budgets since then to see if they’ve followed-through by actually funding all of them. If not, why not. Please do give it some serious thought. Seriously.

        1. It’s straw man week at MDN. Most government “workers” should have been unemployed yesterday. I’m not familiar with the Benghazi report you mentioned. Though being a thorough government report I’m sure it recommends the immediate ending of funnelling weapons to al-Qaeda affiliates through off-the-books CIA bases right? If you think Benghazi had anything to do with a lack of funding, you’re probably beyond hope, but maybe you’ll give it some serious thought, please? As for monopolies, I’d love to see the government bust some of them up, it’s actually one of their legitimate functions that they are extremely lax on, lets start with Amazon.

  2. How about this? Why don’t we get back to actually creating more products and be the company Steve Jobs wanted it to be – where are the innovative new products? Why is Amazon the headliner and coming up with these pretty innovative ideas? I mean, thanks to Apple, of course, but geesh!!!!

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