For our second episode we’re breaking down Rules as Code, an approach to creating and publishing policies in a machine readable way
In this episode we speak to the incredible Pia Andrews, who is currently working for Service Canada as well as Liam McCann from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Ram Parameswaran a Code for Australia Fellow, who are both working on a Rules as Code project.
To learn more about Rules as Code, check out the post below as well as the list of resources provided.
“If we want to improve trust, it shouldn’t just be about asking for trust, it should be about building trustworthy systems in a digital age, which means being transparent, appealable, and audit-able in real time across all of the gamut of services that the government provides.”
The full transcript of the episode is available here.
- “Rules as Code actually dramatically improves your visibility and the personal empowerment of people who need to use and engage with government services.”
- “It’s not about prescription versus discretion. It’s actually about both. Where you want to have consistency of application, use prescriptive rules, simple. Where you want to maintain discretion or a principles based approach, then use a principles based approach, but don’t assume that one or the other is going to replace everything because purely principles based doesn’t work and purely prescriptive based doesn’t work.”
- “Just the mere process of attempting Rules is Code with a multidisciplinary team delivers huge benefits to all parties.”
- “Breaking something down into really small chunks and demonstrating viability early and being able to demonstrate that viability by drawing on other people’s skills collaboratively is really, really vital to this process.”
- “It’s always more difficult to transform process than to transform tech. Tech is easy. Once you get a basic level of technical skill, you can make a lot of stuff happen, but transforming the structures around government and really being able to influence how those structures manifest in programs, that’s way more difficult.”
- “Rules as Code is not well-suited for everything, but where it is well suited it really has the potential to transform how government delivers services. In the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, I’ve seen that it’s really excited public servants and really made them motivated because of how transformational it is and how it allows them to really deliver a better service to the public.”
- “My strongest recommendation is figure out what “good” looks like for you, and then be unrelenting in the pressure that you hold to the system around you. Because if you allow things to happen that you know are not in accordance with your values or ethics, then you are part of that problem.”
- Cracking the Code by OECD
- Rules as Code Part 1 and Part 2
- Rules as Code Case Study from New Zealand
- Community Gaming Regulation in NSW
- New Zealand Public Service Act 2020
- Rules as Code Wiki
- We need to recode the rules of government
- Rules as Code in 2020: The Year in Review
- How we used design to understand, inform and experiment within the Rules as Code space
- ‘Rules as Code’ will let computers apply laws and regulations. But over-rigid interpretations would undermine our freedoms
- “Today, let’s talk about the impact of algorithms for social benefits. In France, an unemployment advisor has been fired because he was helping unemployed people bypass the algorithm to get the benefits they had the right to. “
- Extreme poverty and digital welfare: New report from UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty raises alarm about the rise of a digital welfare dystopia
- Algorithm charter for Aotearoa New Zealand
- Examining the boundaries of law and technology — ADM+S Announcement
- Report Launch — OPSI Innovation Primer on Rules as Code
- NZ Gov — What is Better Rules?
- OpenFisca — Write rules as code
- Catala is a domain-specific programming language designed for deriving correct-by-construction implementations from legislative texts
- Join the Rules as Code Community of Practice
Want to be a guest on this podcast?
We’re always looking for folks working in civic tech and government to speak with about themes you’re encountering or work being done. If you’re keen to have a chat to us contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org