11. Robodebt as algorithm (part 2) - random number generator decision-making

The Westminster Tradition

22-08-2023 • 30 mins

How will automation impact the ability of people to seek review of administrative decisions by government agencies?

In this episode, we talk about the human bias toward thinking computers are right, and take a brief digression into another public service scandal - The Great Post Office Trial - where discrepancies on a computer screen were used as proof to send people to jail.

You can find Alison's homework reading by former Chief Justice French here.

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

Intro grab features Robodebt victim, Rosemary Gay, and Counsel Assisting Douglas Freeburn.

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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