Algorithms 2

Algorithms 2

 
This is Sandra.
Sandra is in the middle of moving into a new home.
And because she is going to rent...
she decides to apply for rent allowance from the government.
Besides Sandra there are thousands of other Dutch citizens...
who make these kinds of applications every day.
In order to make all these applications run faster and more smoothly...
the government makes use of algorithms.
An algorithm is a series of commands that a computer follows step by step.
It can be used for all sorts of purposes.
For example, it automatically links your license plate to your address...
if you are caught, so that the traffic fine arrives at the right address.
But an algorithm can also check whether you are entitled to a pension...
or, as in Sandra's case, whether she is entitled to rent allowance.
That is efficient, but there are also risks involved.
That is why the Netherlands Court of Audit investigates whether algorithms work well...
and whether they are used wisely.
Does the algorithm see that Sandra's application meets all the conditions?
Then the money is paid out automatically.
But is that not the case, or is it unclear then an official reviews her application...
and determines whether Sandra will receive money or not.
This can make it take longer sometimes before a decision is made.
If an algorithm is not used correctly, then a risk of discrimination arises...
or there is a chance that data of citizens or companies is not secure.
In case of careless use, citizens like Sandra, or companies...
may not get what they are entitled to.
The Netherlands Court of Audit therefore makes recommendations...
to ministers and Parliament
so we can exploit the opportunities offered by algorithms
and limit possible adverse effects on citizens and businesses.
Because that is what the Netherlands Court of Audit stands for.
That government policy must be implemented economically, efficiently and effectively
So Sandra and thousands of other Dutch citizens get what they are entitled to.
Want to know more? Go to rekenkamer.nl/algoritmes.