Articulations of Automated Decision-making and Good Administration: Opportunities, Risks and Trade-Offs

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The use of semi and fully automated, administrative decision-making in public administrative bodies is increasing. Despite the increase, very few studies have analysed the consequences for good administration. Good administration are regulations and norms which primarily shape administrative decision-making including the bureaucratic encounter between administrative bodies and individual citizens or firms. Based on a thematic analysis of qualitative interviews with 43 policy makers and decision-making practitioners in a wide area of policy-fields, it is shown that the articulated consequences of automated decision-making for good administration are widespread. 29 empirical themes are identified, covering both opportunities and risks to good administration. The themes can be aggregated into six dimensions of values particularly affected by automated, administrative decision-making: i) Correct decisions; ii) Respect of individual integrity; iii) Professional administration; iv) Trustworthy; v) Responsive; and vi) Empowering. While all dimensions are somehow related to established values of good administration, the paper is the first to suggest which values are particularly affected by automated, administrative decision-making. Despite popular conceptions of the threat of ‘robotic government’ the conclusions of the interviews are hardly alarmist in relation to automated decision-making. But the use of automated, administrative decision-making in relation to good administration should not be ignored by researchers or practitioners: Put simply, the identified risks to good administration can be expected to occur by themselves when automated, administrative decision-making is employed, while the opposite seems be true for the opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date3 Sept 2020
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2020
Externally publishedYes
EventESPAnet 2020 PHD seminar - Zoom, WWW
Duration: 4 Sept 20204 Sept 2020


SeminarESPAnet 2020 PHD seminar

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