By Daniel Stoner
Director
5 September 2022


Lessons learned one year on – Algorithm charter for Aotearoa New Zealand


By Daniel Stoner | 5 September 2022



By Daniel Stoner | 5 September 2022


The New Zealand government has released Taylor Fry’s review of its algorithm charter, revealing strong support for the charter’s role in bolstering community trust.

The charter, a set of commitments for the safe and ethical use of algorithms by public agencies, aims to demonstrate government transparency and accountability. It offers a framework and guidance to help agencies meet these objectives.

Our review reflects on the first 12 months of the charter’s implementation, offering several key messages for government and providing suggestions for the future.

With 27 signatories, representing more than half of New Zealand’s government agencies, we found almost universal support for the charter.

While agencies have made some progress in implementing commitments, our findings also revealed opportunities for improvement. These included better information sharing to enable efficiency and consistency, and periodic reporting of algorithms captured by the charter.

More than half of New Zealand’s government agencies have signed on to the charter’s commitments

The review process entailed a raft of interviews and surveys with agencies and subject matter experts to learn what’s working well and where improvements may be needed. We also reviewed documentation from agency and external sources.

Specifically, our review focused on:

  • The experiences of agencies
  • Embedding te ao Māori perspectives
  • Any early indications of positive impacts or unintended consequences
  • The support needs of signatories

We collated a large amount of information, opinions and perspectives on the charter, which we distilled into 13 key themes, together with practical considerations for making improvements going forward.

The implementation and interpretation of the charter is intended to be an ongoing process. This will ensure it can respond to emerging technologies, and be up to date and relevant for government agencies.

Read the full review.


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