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Resh(AI)ping Good Administration: Addressing the Mass Effects of Public Sector Digitalisation

 |  January 17, 2024

By: Albert Sánchez-Graells (How to Crack a Nut)

Prof. Albert Sanchez-Graells presents his latest paper, where he explores the transformative impact of public sector digitalisation on governance. The rapid pace of digitalisation has outstripped the development of legal frameworks, leading to a lag in adapting good administration guarantees to the evolving landscape. Despite international efforts to align administrative practices with digital governance, progress has been slow. The rise of automated decision-making processes poses a significant challenge to traditional guarantees of good administration, potentially compromising individual due process rights and eroding public trust. While existing analyses often focus on reconciling established duties with the challenges of digitalisation, Sanchez-Graells takes a critical and technology-centric doctrinal approach.

The paper delves into the European context, emphasizing the increasing scholarly attention given to automated decision-making. However, it argues that the current discussions fall short in addressing the collective impact of digitalisation. Sanchez-Graells contends that there is a pressing need to go beyond individual-focused debates and adapt good administration guarantees to a collective dimension. To address the challenges posed by automated decision-making, he proposes an extension and broadening of the public sector’s good administration duties.

The suggested modifications involve implementing an extended ex ante control of organizational risk-taking and a broader ex post duty of automated redress. By emphasizing the potential mass effects of automated decision-making by the public sector, the paper advocates for urgent legal reforms to ensure that good administration guarantees remain relevant and effective in the era of digital transformation…