Audit Report of NCA: “Understanding Algorithms”



Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA) published a report titled “Understanding Algorithms” based on an audit launched in early 2020.


Central government uses algorithms in implementing its policies. Algorithms are sets of rules and instructions that a computer follows automatically when making calculations to solve a problem or answer a question. NCA, with this audit, wanted to demystify these algorithms by finding out what they actually do and what they don't do. NCA intended to answer questions such as: How does the government avoid bias when it is using algorithms? Does the government oversee the consequences that the use of algorithms has on private individuals and companies that are affected by government policies?


The Court of Audit has developed an audit framework for this. The framework also considers ethical aspects of algorithms.

The full report in English is available here.


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