Trump tech office reaches out to feds

The White House's Matt Lira describes weekly meetings to forge and foster collaboration across siloed tech groups.

Shutterstock / Pictofigo

A priority of the new White House office tasked with reinventing government business practices and fixing federal IT is meeting with feds to forge and foster collaboration among siloed tech groups.

At a June 15 digital government event hosted by FedScoop, Matt Lira, the special assistant to the president for innovation policy and initiatives, said the Jared Kushner-led Office of American Innovation, of which Lira is a member, can improve federal IT by aligning progress already being made at the agency level.

Lira acknowledged that widespread federal IT challenges can contribute to the "dissonance between policy implementation and operational reality," but said addressing technology in a bipartisan way could help "cure the public’s frustration with government."

"The real way to tackle this problem is to bring people together, do some structural reforms, build great consensus in communities around the policymaking space and have those systems work on an ongoing basis to continually modernize government systems," he said. "At a certain point, it’s not about changing the manager. It’s about changing the manual."

Practically speaking, Lira said, OAI tries to address that problem by holding weekly meetings to bring together feds from government's "pockets of excellence" --  individuals who are "as frustrated by the operational barriers … as the American public is" -- and connect them to private-sector expertise.

"Some of these folks have never really talked to each other on a regular basis," he said, adding that "the most exciting thing for me is the connection of policymakers with engineers."

The goals of the weekly meetings, Lira said, include developing "new operational rules, getting rid of out-of-date regulations [and] providing political top-cover to [allow feds] to do what they want to do."

In terms of what the OAI is specifically looking to fix, Lira said, "it’s a combination of front-end citizen experiences and underlying policy."

"A lot of times these teams that come in, they want to hack around problems," he added, "but I think we’re also looking to hack at the problem itself."

Lira pointed to the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin’s recent decision to ditch VA's homegrown electronic health record system in favor of a commercial solution used by the Pentagon "almost as a model" for tackling core problems head-on.

Lira said that in addition to "CIO agency personnel," representatives from 18F and the U.S. Digital Service are also involved in these weekly meetings.

"They’re wholly bought in and wholly involved in the process and have the full support of the administration," he said. "The teams there are incredible, as are the teams at OCIO and many other places. It’s about getting these groups to work together."

Lira, who has called the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act a "model" for broader government innovation, also lent his support for the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which passed the House but has not yet been taken up in the Senate.

Lira declined to provide details on the OAI meeting with executives from major tech companies set for June 19, but added, "stay tuned. It will be exciting."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.