Donald Trump's Kiwi adviser is bringing in the private sector try to modernise government services as one of the first initiatives in his new role.

Matamata-born former businessman Chris Liddell is one of Trump's key staff members as his director of strategic initiatives.

In an email to the Herald, Liddell said the Government had, by an Executive Order from the President, established a new American Technology Council (ATC) to focus on modernising government services.

Liddell, who was once chief financial officer at Microsoft, is serving as director of the ATC and said part of its approach was to embrace the private sector to help implement its ideas. Trump himself will serve as chairman.


"We intend to invite some of the leading technology companies in the world to a meeting to discuss those ideas," Liddell said.

While the Government was yet to announce details on these ideas, Liddell said various news agencies had reported on aspects of them.

He attached a link to an article by media and technology news website Recode, which said the White House planned to bring in top executives from Apple, Facebook, Google and other tech giants next month to "brainstorm ways that the US Government can put more of its 'citizen services' online and tackle thorny policy issues like high-skilled immigration".

The article refers to an agenda obtained by Recode, which says, "The American people should be able to interact with the Government the way that they do with the best private-sector companies -- through intuitive digital experiences that effectively solve problems".

The agenda goes on to say that many federal agencies currently offer a "very poor experience defined by outdated websites, unhelpful call centers, and thousands of pages of paper-based forms".

The ATC would also look at how the Government buys its computers, software and other technology, and discuss latest tech advances such as "machine learning" to deal with issues like government waste and fraud.

"Still another focus on tap is analytics, as the White House tech council looks to publish more information 'to track outcomes' at federal agencies," Recode reported. "And they'll explore new initiatives for improving the Government's own tech workforce -- including an 'exchange' program of sorts that might allow tech engineers to serve brief tours of duty in Washington, DC."

Liddell attached to his email the Trump Executive Order which established the ATC.


"Americans deserve better digital services from their government. To effectuate this policy, the Federal Government must transform and modernise its information technology and how it uses and delivers digital services," the order says.

Among the document's directives is one that "the Director of National Intelligence is encouraged to provide access to classified information on cyber-security threats, vulnerabilities, and mitigation procedures to the ATC in order to facilitate the ATC's activities".

Liddell, 59, has also been chairman of Kiwi accounting software maker Xero -- a post he resigned from for the White House gig -- and the father-of-two has held positions as the CFO of International Paper, a chief executive of Carter Holt Harvey and co-CEO of investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston.

A companion to the New Zealand Order of Merit, Liddell also used to chair environmental and education fund Next Foundation.

Recent disclosures made to the US Office of Government Ethics stated that he owned assets worth between $105m and $280m.