Latest Trump order aimed at modernizing government IT, including at HHS
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order creating the American Technology Council, an organization tasked with modernizing the federal government’s IT systems and the digital services they offer U.S. citizens. This could be good news for the Department of Health and Human Services, a federal agency badly in need of an IT tune-up.
“It is the policy of the United States to promote the secure, efficient and economical use of information technology to achieve its missions,” the executive order stated. “Americans deserve better digital services from their government. To effectuate this policy, the federal government must transform and modernize its information technology and how it uses and delivers digital services. To promote the policy set forth in this order, this order establishes the American Technology Council.”
Trump shall serve as chairman of the council. Other members of the council include the vice president, the secretary of defense, the secretary of commerce, the director of the office of science and technology policy, the U.S. chief technology officer, the assistant to the president for intragovernmental and technology initiatives, the administrator of the U.S. digital service, the administrator of the office of electronic government (the federal chief information officer), and the commissioner of the technology transformation service.
It seems the council will not meet regularly but instead at the behest of the president. The executive order simply states that the president “may convene meetings of the ATC” and will preside over meetings, with the vice president presiding in the president’s absence.
The American Technology Council’s work likely will parallel that of the Office of American Innovation. It appears based on the influence of the members of the council that Trump intends to hold agency heads accountable for modernization and cybersecurity.
This executive order comes just days after Republican Rep. Will Hurd introduced in the House a new IT modernization bill dubbed the Modernizing Government Technology Act.