Govt to clear up IT decision making

Putting taxpayers’ money to better use

Federal government agencies have collaborated to publish a guide to improve IT decision making.

The Automated Assistance in Administrative Decision Making (AAADM) Better Practice Guide provides advice to help ensure the IT decision-making systems of government are transparent and accountable, according to Special Minister of State, Gary Nairn.

"The [AAADM] Better Practice Guide provides practical advice and checklists to ensure that systems used to produce decisions affecting individuals are fair, accurate, and open to audit and review," Nairn said.

The guide highlights that IT systems applying new technologies to make administrative decisions must be supported by appropriate business practices to ensure that systems produce fair and accurate decisions, consistent with good public administration.

The project was a collaborative partnership between the Department of Finance and Administration, the Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian National Audit Office and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, and 14 government agencies worked together to produce the guide.

Nairn said this advice will help agency officials ensure that IT systems used for administrative decision-making are producing accurate and fair decisions, and that there are processes in place to ensure that review of government decisions affecting individuals can take place, for example, by the Ombudsman or the Australian National Audit Office.

Automated decision making systems have been used for some years in the Australian government in areas of financial entitlement for citizens and individuals - such as welfare, family, and veteran support benefits.

Government agencies have a legal obligation to ensure systems are lawful, fair, rational, transparent, and efficient.

The AAADM guide is available online at http://www.agimo.gov.au/publications/2007/february/aaadm.

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