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This report outlines the findings of the Mapping Automated Decision-Making in Social Services in Australia project of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, which aimed to provide a baseline dataset for researchers on the types of automated decision-making (ADM) systems being utilised in Australian social services.

The project regarded ADM as social–cultural–political–technological systems embedded in decision-making processes. It developed a framework for an ADM system in dialogue with the OECD’s (Perset et al. 2020) artificial intelligence (AI) framework and applied this to 29 case studies of ADM systems used in social services in Australia. The project found that ADM systems are used extensively within Australian social services. However, there is much diversity as to the type of system, its sophistication, function, purpose and geographical origin. This field is changing rapidly, and to support accountability, transparency and explainability in ADM systems, there remains a desperate need for further mapping of automation in the social services in Australia, as well as in governmental decision-making more broadly.

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Working Paper 6