facebook linkedin twitter

Former Trump White House Official Optimistic Biden Will Continue Tech Modernization

January 27, 2021 by Victoria Turner
(Photo via Instagram)

Efforts to modernize the federal government’s use of technology have long enjoyed “enthusiastic bipartisan support” that is likely to continue during Joe Biden’s presidency, said Matt Lira, who was special assistant to the president on innovation policy during the Trump administration.

Speaking during a virtual fireside chat at this week’s State of the Net Conference, Lira said he was “tremendously optimistic” about the new administration’s approach to technology, and has an “amazing amount of confidence” in the teams being pickled to lead its civic tech programs, which aim to promote government accountability and responsiveness to its citizens.

IT modernization has been a challenge for the federal government to tackle, Lira said. Beginning with the creation of the Technology Transformations Services, which assists in the implementation of modern tech throughout public services, under the U.S. General Services Administration with programs such as the digital consulting office 18F, the IT Modernization Centers of Excellence to accelerate agencies’ IT modernization efforts and pairing technologists with civil servants through the Presidential Innovation Fellowship. The effort has expanded over a decade, said Lira, breaking into three “chapters” so far, with the “initiation” stage taking place during the Obama administration with the creation of TTS, PIF and the U.S. Digital Service. The Trump administration, he added, was the “institutionalization” stage of these efforts.

“Rather than reinvent the wheel, we wanted to build on the progress that had been made,” Lira said, including lessons learned and “evolving the programs through our tenure.”

The IT Modernization Centers of Excellence Act, which received unanimous approval from the U.S. Senate and was signed by former President Trump on Dec. 3, moved the COEs from a plan of action into law by making it a requirement that the GSA set up an Information Technology Modernization Centers of Excellence Program to facilitate federal agencies’ adoption of modernized IT.

Upon its issuance, Lira had previously tweeted the Act “provides the institutional capacity to leverage for a more efficient, effective and accountable government.”

The law requires the existing GSA Centers of Excellence and any future COEs to assist the implementation of the modernized businesses processes by federal agencies in improving cooperation with teams focused on industry innovations such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, contact centers and related customer supports, data management and analytics, infrastructure optimization, and future related responsibilities the GSA may identify.

The Biden Administration, Lira said, would be the third chapter through which the current office will be able to “scale those efforts.” The administration’s recent proposals to increase funding for the TTS, USDS and other programs points to just that, he said. Despite cross-aisle differences, he said, this has and remains an area of bipartisan “collaboration and consensus,” noting one area of pride was how apolitical these issues were kept.

“There is nothing more powerful and impactful than American consensus over time,” Lira said. “We really have an opportunity to show that people of goodwill can work together and achieve an outsized impact.”

Technology

October 15, 2021
by Reece Nations
Tech Innovation ‘Fundamental Foundation’ of Feasibly Solving Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON -- The foundations of what could prove to be the next great innovations in climate change prevention technology were... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The foundations of what could prove to be the next great innovations in climate change prevention technology were laid out and dissected during a Brookings Institution webinar this week. Sanjay Patnaik, director of Brookings Center on Regulation and Markets, hosted a virtual discussion on... Read More

October 14, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Cybersecurity Experts Point to More Investment Needed in Detection, Response

WASHINGTON -- If everyone were to employ proper cyber hygiene like multi-factor authentication or not clicking on links in phishing... Read More

WASHINGTON -- If everyone were to employ proper cyber hygiene like multi-factor authentication or not clicking on links in phishing emails, more than 85% of cyberattacks would be prevented, said Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, Thursday.  “The best hack is the one that doesn’t happen,” King said... Read More

October 13, 2021
by Victoria Turner
BIPOC Entrepreneurs Work to Combat Inequities

Social entrepreneurship uses technology to bridge the gap between “cash-strapped” municipalities and local governments, said Gabriella Wong, CEO and founder... Read More

Social entrepreneurship uses technology to bridge the gap between “cash-strapped” municipalities and local governments, said Gabriella Wong, CEO and founder of AccesSOS, Tuesday.  Wong’s comment came during the Camelback Venture’s Guardian Summit panel discussion where she was joined by two other socially-driven app founders and executives... Read More

October 12, 2021
by Dan McCue
Boeing Close to Approval for Broadband Satellite Array

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission is poised to consider an application from Boeing to launch and run an array... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Communications Commission is poised to consider an application from Boeing to launch and run an array of broadband satellites. Acting FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a proposal for voting on Boeing’s application last week. Industry watchers have said the fact Rosenworcel went... Read More

October 7, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Telehealth Gains Broad Support For Improving U.S. Health Care

WASHINGTON -- The only remaining question after a Senate hearing on telehealth Thursday was not whether more of it is... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The only remaining question after a Senate hearing on telehealth Thursday was not whether more of it is coming but when. Telehealth refers to medical personnel providing health care through telecommunications, most commonly streaming video over the Internet. “Over the past year, the COVID-19... Read More

October 7, 2021
by Victoria Turner
Broadband ‘Catnip’ to Both Political Parties, Industry Executive Says

WASHINGTON -- Both sides of the U.S. Congress are viewing high-speed broadband as essential. Now, the industry players will have... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Both sides of the U.S. Congress are viewing high-speed broadband as essential. Now, the industry players will have the challenge of reconfiguring a private business model to fit that of a utility, said Rhod Shaw, chairman of the Alpine Group, Wednesday.  The growing attention... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top