The rapid pace of digital transformation in the federal government has made questions around the purpose and scope of automation increasingly relevant.
The 3rd review of the Treasury Board Directive on Automated Decision-Making takes stock of the current state of the policy instrument and identifies several risks and challenges to the federal government’s commitment to responsible artificial intelligence (AI). It discusses critical gaps that limit the Directive’s relevance and effectiveness in supporting transparency, accountability, and fairness in automated decision-making — such as the Directive’s scope, which excludes internal services and therefore automated decisions impacting federal employees.
The review finds that the Directive does not properly consider justifications for automation or evaluate whether a system will be used within boundaries determined based on user needs and program objectives.
The review also considers broader issues related to the governance of the Directive itself. It provides an analysis showing how the current periodic review mechanism poses policy and operational challenges to the federal government.