AI Governance Policy Webinar | ‘Ahead of the curve and sticking to the track’ | Monday 25 March from 11.00 to 12.00

AI Governance Policy Webinar | ‘Ahead of the curve and sticking to the track’ | Monday 25 March from 11.00 to 12.00

Background and context

In the dynamic landscape of local government, AI and advanced data analytics heralds a paradigm shift, offering transformative potential to revolutionise public services and council functions. Underpinned by the UK’s National AI Strategy, which seeks to position the nation as a global frontrunner in AI, there’s a concerted push towards leveraging this technology to enhance services, economic development, and public governance. This strategic approach acknowledges the crucial role of AI in driving operational efficiencies and supporting strategic decision-making, especially in times of economic duress.

However, the journey towards integrating AI within local authorities is fraught with complex challenges that necessitate a nuanced approach to governance. Public perception, underscored by concerns around privacy, data security, and trust, highlights the imperative for a governance framework that is not only transparent and responsible but also inclusive. Such a framework must ensure AI deployment and integration aligns with public expectations and ethical standards, fostering an equitable distribution of the technology’s benefits.

Moreover, the financial constraints faced by local authorities, characterised by reduced spending per resident and a reliance on limited funding sources, pose significant hurdles to investing in the necessary AI and advanced data analytics infrastructure. Coupled with skills gaps in digital and IT competencies, local authorities are at a crossroads, needing to balance immediate financial pressures with the long-term benefits of a strategic approach to AI implementation.

Aims & objectives of policy webinar

This policy webinar seeks to explore how these multifaceted challenges can be addressed, offering a platform for dialogue and knowledge-sharing among local leaders, policymakers, stakeholders, and experts.

The aim is to explore effective governance models, strategies for overcoming financial and skill-related barriers, and methods to ensure that AI use is ethically aligned, transparent, and conducive to enhancing public delivery. The session will be a lively discussion of the manifold implications of AI use and governance for local authorities and their communities.

We will look to explore the development and implementation of robust principles and governance frameworks that ensure AI is used responsibly, identify opportunities for AI to enhance public service delivery and day-to-day functionality of local authorities, and discuss the importance of engaging with stakeholders, including residents and communities, to build public trust in the use of these technologies.

Guiding questions

  • What principles and governance frameworks are needed to build public trust and manage the risks associated with AI use?
  • In what ways can AI enhance public service delivery and the operational efficiency of local authorities?
  • What are the primary challenges local authorities face in integrating AI and advanced data analytics into council function and public services?

Speakers included:

  • Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, leader, Kensington and Chelsea Council
  • Amardeep Gill, head of public sector, Trowers & Hamlins
  • Rachel McKoy, president, Lawyers in Local Government
  • Jonathan Werran, chief executive, Localis (Chair)