Public sector bodies in several countries are using algorithms, AI, and similar methods in their administrative functions that have sometimes led to bad outcomes that could have been avoided. Uncertainty also exists about how such uses should be governed.
People are being harmed and discriminated against in cases where public bodies make algorithmic predictions about them, and uses are being judged to be unlawful.
In most parliamentary democracies, a variety of laws and standards for public administration combine to set enough rules to guide their proper use in the public sector. The challenge is to work out what is lawful, safe and effective to use.
This article sets out a framework for the rules for uses of algorithms in the public sector to follow.