Trump administration’s relationship with industry

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David Berteau, president & CEO of the Professional Services Council, discusses the relationship between the White House and private industry, and how the Trump administration is trying new ways to find “innovators.”


President Trump recently invited Oracle CEO Safra Catz to dinner at the White House. This action has industry members wondering what this meeting could mean for contractors, and reignited conversations about how the government communicates with private firms.

“Just a couple months ago, the Deputy Secretary of Defense put out a reissuance of a memo that the previous administration had done on communicating with industry. It actually stressed and emphasized there are many ways in which legitimate communication can take place outside of the terms of discussion on a particular contract… DoD has been following that and expands that level of communication,” said David Berteau, president & CEO of the Professional Services Council. “It becomes critically important in areas where you’re trying to pursue new ideas, new processes, new technologies; what we euphemistically refer to as innovation or technology modernization. There, the typical historical way in which the government got access to innovation was to buy what it had bought and paid for. They paid for the research and development they got the results. Or, to use existing contractors to facilitate access to new technology if it was outside innovation. Now there’s a 3rd mechanism, in which you really have to reach out to the innovators themselves.”