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Commitment 8 progress report: 31 December 2020

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2020

Progress report to: 31 December 2020

Commitment 8: Review of government use of algorithms

Lead agency:

  • Government Chief Data Steward, Stats NZ
  • Working with Government Chief Digital Officer, Department of Internal Affairs


To increase the transparency and accountability of how government uses algorithms.


  • To ensure New Zealanders are informed and have confidence in how the government uses algorithms – automatic decision-making processes used by computer programmes – to identify patterns in data.

OGP values:

Transparency, Accountability


Milestone 1

Complete an initial review of existing operational algorithms and their use across a range of government agencies

Start/End dates: 1 June 2018 to 31 October 2018

Progress: completed

Milestone 2

Consider next steps for all-of-government assurance related to the use of algorithms in collaboration with Civil Society representatives

Start/End dates: 31 October 2018 to 28 February 2019

Progress: completed

Milestone 3

Update this commitment (and its milestones) to reflect progress made in previous milestones

Start/End dates: 1 March 2019 to 31 March 2019

Progress: underway

What we have been doing

  • We have begun work to ensure that data ethics are embedded at all levels of the government analytics workforce, through improvements in training and professional development for data analysts and decision makers.
  • We have consulted with New Zealanders and civil society on a draft Algorithm Charter that enables government agencies to make a specific public commitment to the transparent and accountable use of algorithms and other advanced data analytics techniques. Information was made available via a media release from the Minister of Statistics and shared on
  • A summary of public submissions on a draft Algorithm Charter was published on
  • In July 2020 we released the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand, which is a commitment to ensuring New Zealanders have confidence in how government agencies use algorithms. Currently, there are 26 signatories across New Zealand government who have committed to applying the values of the Charter in their work. We are working with signatories to support the implementation of the Charter commitments as needed. We anticipate being able to update this commitment (and its milestones) to reflect progress made.

How we are including diverse voices

  • Refer above

How we are keeping diverse communities informed

  • Refer above

What’s next?

  • We are working with government agencies on implementing the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand and sharing learnings with international networks on an ongoing basis.
  • A review of the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand will be conducted after July 2021 to ensure it is achieving its intended purpose of improving government transparency and accountability without stifling innovation or causing undue compliance burden.

Links – Evidence of progress and Milestones achieved