Develop EU standard contractual clauses for the procurement of ethical AI
Work is underway by cities supported by the European Commission to develop EU standard contractual clauses for the procurement of ethical AI based on the good practices of the City of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam developed a set of contractual clauses for the procurement of Artificial Intelligence, to create a framework for the information that suppliers need to provide on algorithms used in order to ensure citizen trust in these services and so that the city could provide transparent information on how AI is used.
The clauses built on the Ethics Guidelines developed by the European Commission’s High Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and on Amsterdam’s own strong digital ethics policy as a founding member of Cities Digital Rights Coalition. The city made its contractual clauses publicly available as a template for other cities and other governments to reuse, as a practical means of encouraging the use of AI while providing safeguards.
These clauses are being reviewed and adapted to ensure they are aligned with the AI Act which is still under negotiation. The work will be supported by a community of practice, DG GROW’s forthcoming Digital Public Buyer’s Community, and the Living-in.EU movement (DG CONNECT).
Please see the Coordinated Plan on AI Review 2021 for information on initiatives underway to support uptake of AI in the public and private sector.
The solution explained
The European Commission (DG GROW) held workshops in May 2022 and June 2021 on the topic of contract clauses for AI, which set out Amsterdam’s approach to using procurement as a means of increasing transparency and citizen trust in AI and algorithmic systems.
The aim of the clauses is to ensure that service providers make available all the necessary information required by the city to be fully-accountable for the use of AI and algorithmic services, without requiring the seller to share commercially sensitive information.
The purpose of this group is to work together to trial and refine these standard clauses, as a really useful tool to both increase confidence of public buyers in the AI services they procure, and also to increase citizen trust in public administrations when using AI and algorithmic services.
A number of other initiatives are also underway with cities to increase transparency and accountability of AI.
An AI Algorithm Registry is an online tool or website, which provides citizens with information on artificial intelligence systems and algorithms used by public administrations in reaching decisions affecting them in a transparent and understandable manner. The Cities of Amsterdam and Helsinki are examples of existing Algorithm Registries. The AI Coordinated Plan (Commission and Member States) commits to supporting public administrations, including cities and communities, in creating AI algorithm registries to increase citizen trust.
Eurocities’ Digital Forum Lab, is working with a group of cities to develop a baseline data schema for algorithm registries for cities that want to create local AI registries. The template data schema will be of use to public administrations that wish to gather information on algorithms in use in their city and supports procurement of AI Registry solutions from external suppliers or development of in-house solutions (using open-source software).
OASC, which leads the Living-in.EU Technical Sub-group, has started to work another initiative with cities to develop a Fair AI MIM, also known as MIM 5 (Minimal Interoperability Mechanism). This technical tool will assist cities to automatically: (i) check that AI service providers have supplied the appropriate information and safeguards in line with the transparency requirements, such as those set out in the Amsterdam contractual clauses, and (ii) with this data, create an AI registry with information on how AI was used in decisions affecting citizens.
This group is for public administrators or AI service providers who would like to provide feedback on these draft contract clauses. We are calling on local/regional or national administrations who wish to test and refine the clauses where need to come forward, to help to develop a useful tool which can be re-used across the EU and beyond.
- Are you a public buyer of AI services, or would you like to be one?
- Are you an AI service provider who offers services to public administrations?
- Would you like to provide feedback on the EU standard contractual clauses for AI?
- Would you like to test the clauses and share your experiences?
You can download, review and provide feedback on the clauses through this group.
From 2023 on, the European Commission’s Digital Public Buyer’s Community will provide an off- and online community of practice through which additional support to this group will be offered in the form of workshops, webinars, information exchange and advice. Members of this group will be notified when that platform is up and running.
When finalised, these clauses will be a useful tool for public procurers at local, regional and national level to procure ethical, human-centric AI, to facilitate uptake of AI and to increase citizen trust in its use.
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