Recommendations: Better Rules for Government Discovery Report
There are multiple and overlapping areas of interest in this space. For example, the DIA Service Innovation Team is primarily interested in people-centric integrated service delivery. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s (DPMC) Policy Project is interested in the policy implications. PCO has an interest in high quality and accessible legislation. IR’s Business Rules Centre actively shares with other agencies best practice on rules capability including the approaches outlined in this Discovery. And some government agencies are considering purchasing digital rules management systems.
Tackled collectively, there are opportunities for the government to save time, effort and money, and avoid future IT and legislative problems that are costly and hard to change.
There are opportunities to leverage off existing work programmes for some early wins. There are also more difficult, multifaceted aspects that would require broader changes to embedded processes. These will require a longer term approach and more significant work.
We recommend the development of an agreed cross-agency, coordinated programme of work supported by cross agency executive oversight, and a multi-disciplinary team to undertake further work in this area.
- Socialise the findings of this work as widely as possible, including with international partners
- Collaboration across the New Zealand government:
- identify legislative barriers to data and digital transformation to inform the development of standard clauses, drafting guidance materials, and potential future amendments (working with PCO, DPMC Policy Project, and Stats NZ)
- look for other opportunities to road test this approach in a real world piece of legislation
- develop the suggested approach in this report further and integrate across the 7 Regulatory Stewardship Strategies (working with Treasury and responsible agencies)
- promote this approach across the policy community and its integration into agency policy methods (working with the Policy Project)
- develop standards for developing digital rules and outputs (work with MBIE’s Better for Business Programme)
- explore how artificial intelligence might use digital rules (work with the AI Forum)
- explore opportunities with the Government Rules Group.
- Collaboration with Digital 7 and other nations:
- develop standards and frameworks for development and delivery of human and machine consumable rules
- exploration of open source tools that can be shared.
- The general applicability of this approach.
- Would the same process run with different types of people get a similar outcome, but with different artefacts?
- What stage in the policy and legislative development lifecycle is this approach most valuable?
- How would this approach be integrated into the current policy and legislative approval process?
- Parallel production of rules using existing systems
- Multidisciplinary team uses the concept, decision and flow models to draft the legislation, pseudocode, and software code in parallel
- Standardised outputs of machine consumable rules using a range of products
- Rules created using the openly available concept, decision and flow models, but all outputting as open data in a standard format to enable reuse and integration
- Human consumable rules only
- which would result in siloed logic as we have now, and would not enable digital use of the rules from an authoritative source
- Human consumable rules concept, decision and flow models (or pseudocode)
- which would help people to understand the logic, but would not enable digital use of the rules from an authoritative source
- Human and machine consumable rules
- enables digital use of the rules from an authoritative single source
- provides the opportunity to have semantic linking across all legislation, which would:
- enable querying across all rules to find the aspects of rules relevant to a particular scenario, e.g. becoming a parent
- expose the complexity, enabling better management of legislation through an accessible evidence base that shows how consistently, or inconsistently the terms or concepts are being used.
- For example, it could help multidisciplinary teams come to common understandings faster through reusing common, defined concepts, but it would need to allow for some flexibility in the way terms can be used.
- It could enable the semantic linking of conceptual models across rule sets, enabling better rule management across government.
- It could be challenging to come to consensus on what terms should be included, what their definitions should be, and to manage the growing complexity across government, particularly as we currently use terms in different ways across different domains. How would we identify and manage complexity?
- Research i.e. what are other countries using or looking into
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