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Automated Decision Making in the Public Sector

by Dianne Quade •
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As the public sector’s use of artificial intelligence grows, ethical and legal frameworks remain in catch-up mode.

Over the past two years, there has been significant examination both in Australia and internationally on the potential impact of Automated Decision-Making (ADM) on service delivery and other aspects of government administration.

ADM is a powerful tool for applying policy at scale, but it comes with significant ethical and, in some cases, legal risks.

Deployment of ADM has been moving ahead of policy and lawmakers for some time with ADM systems of varying levels of sophistication used in Australia since 1994, according to research done by NSW’s Parliamentary Research Service.  The NSW Department of Fair Trading deployed a mostly automated business name registration system in November 1999, and Transport for NSW claimed a world-first with its 2019 roll-out of mobile phone detection cameras.

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