10. Robodebt as algorithm (part 1) - junk data and Swiss cheese

The Westminster Tradition

05-08-2023 • 30 mins

The first of a number of episodes on the algorithmic nature of Robodebt.
This episode focuses on big data in government - what we know about it, the ways in which data can be hard to use, and the supreme importance of context. Danielle talks about disappearing from a government system, and Alison gives an important life hack to all double-barrelled surname holders.

You can find a link to the Professor Darren O’Donovan article mentioned up front here.

This podcast was recorded on Kaurna land, and we recognise Kaurna elders past and present. Always was, always will be.

Intro grab features Dr Elea Wurth and Commissioner Holmes, 8 March 2023.

Now for some appropriately bureaucratic disclaimers....

Those of us in the employ of the State Government speak in a strictly personal capacity, consistent with the Public Sector Code of Ethics that permits public servants to promote an outcome in relation to an issue of public interest - in this case, the betterment of the public service.

Nothing we say should be taken as representing the views of the Government or our employers.

While we have tried to be as thorough in our research as busy full time jobs and lives allow, we definitely don’t guarantee that we’ve got all the details right.

If you want rigorous reporting on Robodebt, we recommend the work of Rick Morton at the Saturday Paper, Chris Knaus and Luke Henriques-Gomes at the Guardian, Ben Eltham at Crikey, Julian Bajkowski at The Mandarin, and of course, the Robodebt Royal Commission itself.

Please feel free to email us corrections, episode suggestions, or anything else, at thewestminstertraditionpod@gmail.com.

Thanks to PanPot audio for our intro and outro music.

'Til next time!

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