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Press Release: White Paper on Data Ethics in Public Procurement

Public Institutions Can Lead the Way to Trustworthy AI

Many European public institutions have installed or want to install a chatbot on their website to serve their citizens 24/7. But which service provider should they chose? There are a whole range of chatbots with AI capabilities out there, but are they GDPR compliant? Is data ethics taken into consideration? Do they serve the citizens when processing their data?

To help choose the chatbot or any other digital service to serve the public, European public institutions need guidelines for choosing digital services that comply with European law and values. Public institutions must lead the way, if Europe is to succeed in innovating trustworthy AI systems. is releasing a white paper on public procurement of AI technologies providing a detailed map for public procurers to choose AI-based services and solutions that put data ethics, democracy and fundamental rights first.

Public procurement of AI technology is not just a matter of choosing between more or less efficient technical tools. It is also a prioritization of interests and values embedded in their design. Trustworthy human-centric AI is an alternative type of innovation that can be developed and thrive in Europe, and the public sector could spur that development with data ethics hard-wired into public procurement.

This white paper suggests a risk-based approach in public procurement that is aligned with both formalized and applied due diligence processes. It recommends a due diligence process that consists of five phases including a preliminary risk assessment, a preliminary screening of potential suppliers and contracting including exclusion criteria, performance conditions and a governance structure that includes top management in decision-making processes. And it recommends the following:

  • An EU directive on public procurement of AI-based services and solutions for the public sector
  • A guiding document on public procurement of AI-based services and solutions for the public sector
  • Inclusion of data ethics as a strategic policy priority in the EU Public Procurement Strategy
  • A training toolkit on data ethics in procurement of trustworthy AI-based services and solutions
  • A handbook on data ethics in procurement of AI-based services and solutions
  • An online help desk for public and private sector tenderers.

The white paper was supported by

For more information contact
Gry Hasselbalch (+45) 29 82 73 74
Pernille Tranberg (+45) 22 66 99 32
Birgitte Kofod Olsen (+45) 25 26 09 03