President Barack Obama invited a who’s who of elite CEOs to the White House to discuss how the private sector has used new technologies to save money and increase ease and effectiveness when serving customers.
Asked to attend were leaders from a wide variety of industries – from video game titan Electronic Arts, to PepsiCo, to Microsoft.
Obama hopes to take ideas and information gleaned from the meeting and use them to help the government make better use of taxpayer dollars.
“I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives,” said President Obama. “Improving the technology our government uses isn’t about having the fanciest bells and whistles on our websites – it’s about how we use the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to make government work better for them.”
A large technology gap has formed in recent years between the public and private sectors, a discrepancy which has resulted in wasted funds and ineffective customer service.
“Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home. Now, that’s no longer the case,” said White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag. “The American people deserve better service from their government, and better return for their tax dollars. It’s time to bring government into the 21st century. Information technology has the power to transform how government works, and revolutionize the ease, convenience, and effectiveness by which it serves the American people.”
The forum is part of a larger initiative by Obama to cut at least $40 billion dollars by ending wasteful contracting practices, started the SAVE Award to hear from frontline government workers ideas to save money and improve performance, and ordered a careful review of the budget to certify that the new practices take root.