The Partnership for Public Service’s Center for Presidential Transition (CPT) on Sunday urged the Trump administration to “immediately” begin the post-election transition process.

That recommendation came after major media organizations – based on close and still-incomplete vote counts in several states – on Nov. 7 pronounced Joe Biden President-Elect, and Sen. Kamala Harris Vice President-Elect. President Trump has not conceded defeat in last week’s election and is challenging vote counts in several states.

At the same time, according to published reports, the General Services Administration (GSA) has taken the position that an “ascertainment” of the apparent Biden-Harris victory has not been made, and thus the agency has not signed off on the necessary paperwork to provide Federal funding and office space to the transition team preparing for the next administration.

“We urge the Trump administration to immediately begin the post-election transition process and the Biden team to take full advantage of the resources available under the Presidential Transition Act,” the Partnership for Public Service CPT said. “This was a hard-fought campaign, but history is replete with examples of presidents who emerged from such campaigns to graciously assist their successor,” it said.

“While there will be legal disputes requiring adjudication, the outcome is sufficiently clear that the transition process must now begin,” CPT said.

“We congratulate Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris on their successful and historic campaign for the White House,” the nonpartisan group said. “In our role we have observed the seriousness with which they have taken the transition planning process. They embraced transition planning early, recruited a seasoned and disciplined team and resourced their transition effort commensurate with the challenges that President-elect Biden will face on January 20.”

“We want to also applaud the two other key stakeholders necessary for a successful transition – the White House staff and the career officials throughout the Federal government with responsibility for transition planning under the Presidential Transition Act,” CPT said. “The White House staff took implementation of the Presidential Transition Act seriously, met every statutory milestone and worked closely with the career officials responsible for transition planning.”

“The career Federal officials with responsibility for transition planning, led by the GSA, did exactly what one would expect from highly qualified, experienced career officials – they planned and prepared methodically for either eventuality – a Trump re-election or a Biden win,” CPT said.

Tech Groups Prep for Biden-Harris

Prominent technology trade groups issued statements preparing for the new administration in January.

“Improving Federal technology and cybersecurity is clearly an area where bipartisan agreement and real traction can be made between President-Elect Biden, and the new Congress,” said Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation.

“We congratulate President Biden on his victory,” Cornelius said. “And we look forward to sharing our perspectives, insights and analysis with his team and with members of Congress to ensure that the lessons that have been learned throughout the coronavirus response can be applied to help accelerate IT modernization, digital transformation, and the acquisition and adoption of commercial capabilities to solve government problems and deliver better citizen services.”

“The tech industry congratulates President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on their historic election,” said Jason Oxman, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council, on November 7.

“We understand revitalizing and growing the U.S. economy will be a top focus as the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and the economic fallout from the pandemic,” Oxman said. “Our industry can be a partner on this all-important effort, as well as on policies that maintain America’s global leadership and foster greater opportunity for American families across all communities. From closing the digital divide to investing in research and development to a renewed collaboration with allies to achieve U.S. trade, economic, and national security objectives, our industry is committed to working constructively with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure that the United States adopts policies that support the well-being of all Americans.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.