Meeting notes 2nd July 2021

NAP 5 – Data Ethics (Algorithmic Transparency) – Wk 3 – Readout

by Kevin Keith

As part of the co-creation process of the UK’s fifth National Action Plan for Open Government (NAP5), thematic areas agreed to during the Multistakeholder Forum in March 2021 have been turned into biweekly Working Groups. These Working Groups bring together government policy leads and civil society, and are charged with developing commitments for inclusion in NAP5.

The third NAP5 Algorithmic Transparency Working Group was held on June 17th, 2021 at 10:00 BST. The meeting was co-chaired by civil society and government.

The group was invited to a Mural board to prioritise the suggestions that arose out of the first two sessions. Suggestions that placed highly in both feasibility and impact included:

  • Greater involvement of intermediary bodies working on citizens’ behalf for accountability
  • Health and Education and Crime transparency
  • Mandatory publication of Data Privacy Impact Assessments (DPIAs) and Diversity Impact Assessments (DIAs) as part of decision making and public service delivery
  • Plans to engage Devolved Administrations and/or local authorities in the work
  • Professionals registered when working with algorithms to maintain public trust

Suggestions that scored low in both categories included:

  • Referencing overlapping work with the open contracting group (specifically AI procurement & open source requirements)
  • Local government procurement decisions and risk assessments to be published
  • Creating the space for the public to challenge use of algorithms

There was consensus to broadly group an eventual commitment around the following areas:

  1. A transferable standard
  2. Definition of an algorithm
  3. Increasing public trust

Due to time constraints, participants were directed to the OGN’s Algorithmic Transparency Forum to continue the discussion ahead of the fourth meeting. The Mural board has also stayed open for additional information and discussion.

For additional details or to get involved, please contact: