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Starting an AI program in Government

Policy making steps
The basic steps to starting a government AI program
  • Key initial focus areas for a Government AI program

  • Drafting an AI working program

  • Establishing an AI working group – template guide

  • Developing interim AI guidance

  • Engaging with stakeholders

  • Next steps

Key initial focus areas for a government AI program 
Key focus table
Drafting an initial AI work program

To ensure the government is capable of maximising the opportunities of AI and managing the risks. Outline priority short, medium, and long-term activities.



Develop interim guidance for government use of generative AI tools

  • Assess and expand upon the risk classification and assessment in the interim guidance.


Develop approach on governance

  • Develop an approach to AI governance that provides a more consistent and fit for purpose model for agencies.

Investigate feasibility of a policy for the responsible use of AI in government

  • Investigate the feasibility of policy development that covers government-specific AI issues and the rules that guide the responsible use of AI in agencies. 



Develop approach on risk management and guidance approach that would help agencies assess AI risk and apply appropriate mitigations.

  • Develop a risk management approach and provide guidance on how to use it.


Develop policies relating to the responsible use of AI

  • Develop a policy for the responsible use of AI in government if it is found to be feasible.

Establish AI Proof of Concepts

  • Drawing on the expertise of leading agencies already using AI, establish Proof of Concepts (PoC) and /or build on existing use cases across a range of use case categories.

Develop technical approaches for rolling out AI tools in government

  • Work with leading agencies to establish case studies for how various categories of technical use cases can be designed, developed and deployed in agencies.


Develop approach on preparedness

  • Work with relevant national security and intelligence agencies to prepare a series of patterns / processes for agencies to follow when relevant circumstances arise.


Develop a Data and Digital Workforce Plan to address capability gaps

  • Develop plan and ongoing monitoring and evaluation of government capabilities.

Example template

Key messages for interim guidance for AI use

Note that generative AI offers innovative opportunities for government

  • Due to its rapid evolution and ease of access, there is an urgent need and growing demand for guidance

  • Interim Government guidance for government agencies has been developed for users

  • This is just the start and more guidance will be developed over the coming months

  • Taking a principles-based approach for AI in government

  • Ensure AI use cases are safe,  responsible, and ethical

  • Deploy AI responsibly

  • Seek to be transparent and provide explainability

  • Embed privacy and security

  • Use human centred decision making

  • Provide some tactical guidance for implementing the principles and note more will follow 

    When using generative AI platforms, you should:

  • only use your corporate credentials to sign up

  • obtain approval before using 

  • review all generated content and consider links and files malicious until vetted

  • report instances where you can’t apply the guidance 

  • Engagement stakeholders table

    Next Steps

    Begin work on the core areas:

  • Governance 

  • Risk management

  • Skills and capability

  • Technical 

  • Preparedness

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