Agenda ➢ Introduction & Welcome to Country
➢ Meet the team
➢ The story so far
➢ Status quo
➢ Vision and strategy
➢ The RaC proof of concept
➢ Policy Lab workshop - Feedback
➢ Demo – POC Family savings calculator
➢ Demo (Changes)
➢ Next steps
➢ Question Time
Meet the Team
Code for Australia (CFA)
Digital NSW Accelerator
The story so far
• Rules engine
• Learn from our
• Project planning
• Experiment with
• CFA join the team
• Engaged with users
• Family rebate POC
Our current scope
• Focused initially on service delivery rules and regulation
• Prescriptive rules, not judgement-based rules
• Edge cases can be potentially codified over time, as
precedent is established
• Opportunity to collaborate with PCO on shaping drafting
guidelines and methods
Examples in NSW, Australia
• Eligibility and calculation engines
• Better Regulation program
• Triggers to refer to judgement
Drafting and publishing
rules from legislation,
regulation and policy in
human and machine
What is not
When we looked domestically and internationally, we
• most ‘digital legislation’ efforts were structured
contentthat would still require interpretation,
codifying and hardcoding efforts. A few notable
exceptions, but many people don’t understand
difference between a website and rules as code
• most products in this space were interpretation
engines that assume the legislation is drafted only in
• most people’s expectationswere based on doing the
best they can, based on the statusquo.
Rules as code is not:
• Structured content (like
XML and variants).
• Interpretation or
• A website.
The Public Sector need to step up and apply digital
transformation efforts beyond service delivery.
• When multi-disciplinary teams work with end users to
develop human and machine consumable rules, the
policy intent can be better being sustained through to
• Modelling is increasingly hard, but rules as code
enables more comprehensive and broad testing.
• When everyone consumescommon rules, there is less
room for misinterpretation, and monitoring for known
use case patterns creates opportunity to close
• Co-drafting means upon enactment, API is up.
• Traceability, transparency, appealability.
rules in legislation/
provide functional specs to
Myriad efforts to code
into myriad business
• Complex: Myriad
myriad systems to
which the rules
limited reuse and
same rules in
• Lack of confidence:
Legislation and policy is easier to create, understand, apply
and comply with for the people and businesses of NSW.
Transform legislation and policy so that it is both
human-readable and machine-readable.
Enable efficiency, transparency, innovation, and
seamless service design.
Co-draft HR/MR rules using
test drivenHCD design
Test APIs available.
HR form enactedby
All agencies& orgs across
sectorsconsume gov rules
as code for myriaduse
• More efficient:
Single set of rules
used by multiple
• More certainty:
• Easier to regulate:
Use of rules can
be monitored for
Policy Lab Workshop
• The purpose of the workshop was to test the Rules as Code (RaC)
proof of concept (PoC) with a group of key users.
• The workshop is the first in a series of activities, aimed at continually
testing and iterating the PoC with users.
We had 25 participants attend the workshop, including representatives
• Service NSW
• Department of Planning and Environment (DPE)
• Department of Industry (DoI)
• Parliamentary Counsel Office (PCO)
• Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI)
• Australasian Legal Information Institute (Austlii)
• Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)
• Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART)
Summary of workshop findings
Top 3 Likes Top 3 Challenges
Top 2 Questions
1. RaC will help citizens understand and apply the rules
that affect them.
2. The Rules Engine and API is re-usable, accessible, up-
to-date, open and scalable.
3. RaC will make legislation and policy simpler and less
1. Concern that the Rules Engine may remove discretion and
flexibility in decision-making.
2. There are barriers to the use and uptake of the Toolkit.
3. It is unclear how much the rules engine would cost to use,
the maintenance required and the resources required.
4. Tied in third place, reliability and accuracy of the coded
1. To focus on consistency and standardisation across
whole of government.
2. To start small with the PoC.
3. To use the PoC to develop use cases.
Top 3 Ideas
1. What types of rules will work in the Rules Engine?
2. What will be the functionality of the toolkit, rules
engine and user interface?
• Continue experimenting with different rules
from the cost of living program.
• Partner with agencies to help build the Toolkit
and Rules Engine – for rules in development and
• Continue testing and iterating the proof of
concept with users and stakeholders.
• Develop an Accelerator Program to assist take-
• Explore opportunity for Rules as Code as a
reusable component for service delivery