On 19 December 2019, we provided feedback to Statistics New Zealand regarding their draft Algorithm Charter.
Algorithms are important tools which can enable more effective and efficient resource use and enhanced innovation. However, the use of algorithms can also result in unintended consequences including the perpetuation of bias, concealment, and restrictions in creativity and choice. The draft Charter represents an opportunity for public agencies to commit to the consistent use of transparency as an accountability tool to detect, reduce and mitigate these problems.
Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand supports the development of an Algorithm Charter for use by public agencies in New Zealand. However, we believe that the Charter would be more effective if the requirements were accompanied by specific guidance to assist with its operationalisation in practice.