(L to R) Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, Larry Page, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google), Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, Vice President-elect Mike Pence listen as President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of technology executives at Trump Tower, December 14, 2016 in New York City.
President Donald Trump will meet with the chief executives of technology companies including Apple and Amazon on Monday as the White House looks to the private sector for help in cutting government waste and improving services.
White House officials said on a conference call on Friday that the administration believed there was an “economic opportunity” to save up to $1 trillion over 10 years by significantly cutting government information technology costs, reducing government costs through improved IT, leveraging government buying power and cutting fraud across government agencies.
The meeting with nearly 20 chief executives comes as the White House pushes to shrink government, cut federal employees and eliminate regulations. Many business executives are eager to work with the new administration as they face numerous regulatory and other policy issues.
In May, Trump created an “American Technology Council,” the latest in a series of efforts to modernize the U.S. government. He signed a separate order in March to overhaul the federal government and tapped son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner to lead a White House Office of American Innovation to leverage business ideas and potentially privatize some government functions.
Others planning to attend include Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Chairman John Doerr and the chief executives of Microsoft, IBM, Mastercard, Intel, Qualcomm, Oracle, and Adobe Systems, a White House official said on Sunday.
In May, Trump asked lawmakers to cut $3.6 trillion in government spending over the next decade, taking aim at healthcare and food assistance programs for the poor in a budget that also boosted spending on defense.
A 2016 U.S. Government Accountability Office report estimated the U.S. government spent more than $80 billion in IT annually, excluding classified operations. In 2015, there were at least 7,000 separate IT investments by the U.S. government and some agencies were using systems that had components at least 50 years old.
Chris Liddell, a White House official who directs the American Technology Council and is a former Microsoft and General Motors chief financial officer, said on Friday the Trump administration aimed to improve government services to at least the level of the private sector.