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Commitment 8 progress report: September 2020

Open Government Partnership New Zealand National Action Plan 2018-2020

Progress report for: July – September 2020

Commitment 8 progress report: September 2020

Commitment 8: Review of government use of algorithms

Lead agency: Stats NZ / Government Chief Data Steward, working with Department of Internal Affairs / Government Chief Digital Office

Objective: To increase the transparency and accountability of how government uses algorithms

Ambition: 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 and 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: Complete

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: Underway

Milestone 3

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

Start/End dates: 1 March – June 2021

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 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.

Links – Evidence of progress and milestones achieved