President-elect Donald Trump could tap Silicon Valley companies to help eliminate government waste.
During a discussion with some of technology's most powerful chief executives—Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Apple's Tim Cook, Tesla's Elon Musk and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg were among them—Trump asked the group if data analysis technology could be used to identify government waste, The New York Times reported. (That report cited unnamed corporate executives and a transition official who described the scene after reporters were asked to leave.)
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It's unknown whether Trump referenced the many existing federal programs dedicated to collecting data on, and highlighting, government waste. The Government Accountability Office and individual agencies' Offices of the Inspector General, for instance, regularly assess internal operations in search of inefficiencies.
Newer legislation including the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, which requires agencies to make their spending data public by May 2017, could generate more data and analysis of government finances. Federal agencies also use a tool called PortfolioStat to analyze and help manage IT investments, among many other federal data efforts.
Other topics discussed during the meeting included introducing greater accountability in the government procurement process, improving America’s cybersecurity, updating government software systems and improving physical and digital infrastructures, according to a summary of the discussion provided by Trump's transition team. Trump has suggested meeting with those tech leaders again, potentially each quarter, according to the summary.
Attendees also included Palantir CEO Alex Karp, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Oracle CEO Safra Catz, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Alphabet CEO and Google Co-founder Larry Page as well as Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.