UK Government released guidelines for AI Procurement

UK AI Procurement: The UK Government has published a document detailing the procurement issues for public sector buyers and the best cases for AI technology procurement.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes essential in various government and public services divisions, countries identify roles and rules to include AI. The Pentagon recently announced five guidelines to be adopted by the US military in using AI.

On Monday, UK released a set of guidelines to encourage public sector bodies to adopt AI and deploy it responsibly and ethically to advance society. This document was published by the Office for Artificial Intelligence (OAI) of the UK Government during the World Economic Forum ( WEF), which is also one of the collaborators. Fourth Industrial Revolution, Government Digital Service (GDS), Government Commercial Function, and Crown Commercial Service are other collaborators.

The document refers to machine learning and how to use it responsibly. The document was created as part of WEF’s Unlocking Public Sector AI project. The document is built upon OAI’s previous guidelines for AI which was released along with Government Digital Service, in January 2020. This document is an amalgamation of feedback from various stakeholders from the industry, academia, and the government.

Caroline Dinenage, Digital Minister of the United Kingdom said, “The UK is a global leader in AI and I am pleased we are working with the World Economic Forum and international partners to develop guidelines to ensure its safe and ethical deployment” She further stated, “By taking a dynamic approach we can boost innovation, create competitive markets and support public trust in artificial intelligence. I urge public sector organizations around the world to adopt these guidelines and consider carefully how they procure and deploy these technologies.”

The document is a toolkit designed to support government officials, in particular managers, in making wise decisions about buying appropriate AI systems. The document guides its reader to determine the probability of buying AI systems, comparisons, and questions that should be considered when buying them. The document encourages offices to embrace AI by strategic procurement through learning from best case examples while keeping data ethics and open data standards in mind. The document also promotes the formation of diverse interdisciplinary teams focused on the AI.


In addition to these, the document provides policy and procurement officials with a workbook, risk assessment guidelines for AI deployment, and best case practices. The toolkit has so far been used by the Departments of Business, Energy, Industrial Strategy and the NHSX, the NHS’ technology, digital, and data arm.

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