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The computer says 'DEBT': Towards a critical sociology of algorithms and algorithmic governance

Henman, Paul

This paper uses Australia’s automated processes to identify and recover social security over-payments as a case study to critically analyze the role of algorithms in government and public administration. The paper analyzes the algorithm in terms of: its performance with respect to its purpose; its role in public administration processes and principles; its impact on citizen-service users; and its role in politics. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy and public administrative principles that can be adopted for public sector governance and accountability with government by algorithm. 

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