Former Trump White House Official Optimistic Biden Will Continue Tech Modernization
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.”
In The News
SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey is stepping aside as the head and CEO of Twitter, believing the social media giant... Read More
SAN FRANCISCO — Jack Dorsey is stepping aside as the head and CEO of Twitter, believing the social media giant “Is ready to move on from its founders.” Dorsey has faced pressure for months over his decision to serve as CEO for both Twitter and Square,... Read More
WASHINGTON - Social media, once a venue for pet pictures and catching up with friends from high school, has turned... Read More
WASHINGTON - Social media, once a venue for pet pictures and catching up with friends from high school, has turned toxic in many cases. And it’s almost impossible to escape the most divisive of political commentary. Among those trying to address the issue is Appu Esthose... Read More
WASHINGTON — The lines just keep blurring between the physical and online worlds, with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of... Read More
WASHINGTON — The lines just keep blurring between the physical and online worlds, with the pandemic accelerating the adoption of immersive technologies that merge the physical world with digital or simulated reality. But while many are familiar with some type of extended reality, which is a... Read More
WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms,... Read More
WASHINGTON — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has been on a crusade for swift and sweeping reform of Big Tech platforms, introducing a number of bills and even publishing a book titled “Antitrust” that looks at the history of policy toward trusts and monopolies and details how... Read More
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently partnered with Health Canada and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products... Read More
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently partnered with Health Canada and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to issue guiding principles to align efforts and standards for artificial intelligence and machine learning medical device development in health care. “The FDA believes... Read More
WASHINGTON — Automation will not replace people nor take their jobs, according to two government officials who are implementing robotic... Read More
WASHINGTON — Automation will not replace people nor take their jobs, according to two government officials who are implementing robotic process automation programs at federal agencies. In fact, automation will allow federal employees to accomplish more than that they could have otherwise, said Gabrielle Perret, director... Read More