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Tech CEOs, Trump Talk Modernizing Government

“Government needs to catch up with the technology revolution”. In 2015, the USA government made at least 7,000 separate IT investments and some agencies were using systems that had components at least 50 years old.Kushner corralled quite a list of attendees, including Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, and Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt.Beyond government technology infrastructure, the executives touched on artificial intelligence, computer science education and immigration.A healthcare bill with “heart” is something that the president “clearly wants”, as “he believes that health care is something near and dear to so many families and individuals”, press secretary Sean Spicer said in a Tuesday press briefing.Kushner said that while he had been warned that government change could be slow, he has found “exactly the opposite” and praised the “talented civil servants” he is working with. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord was also widely criticized by tech executives, with some withdrawing from advisory positions as a result.Several of those attending also were at a similar meeting Trump convened last December before his presidential inauguration.The outdated technology systems, used by other government agencies, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Justice, include the use of COBOL. Facebook FB.O CEO Mark Zuckerberg was invited but could not attend because of a conflict, the company said.Apple CEO Tim Cook praised the White House for focusing on improving its technology, which he said would be an investment that would quickly pay off.He said the administration was scrapping unneeded regulations for government computing systems, such as a rule on preventing Y2K issues. As an example of how far the government is behind in technology, he discussed the Pentagon’s use of floppy disks and costly data centers that could be moved to the cloud. The White House Office of American Innovation is hosting a series of working sessions to generate ideas to transform and modernize Government Services.”We have approximately $3.5 trillion of market value in this room – but that’s nearly the exact number that we’ve created since my election”, he said to laughter from the attendees, which shows what sort of brown-nosing is going on at this event.An unnamed White House official told The Wall Street Journal that no three-way talks are expected during the visits and that no major breakthroughs are anticipated.