Principles of Good (Digital) Administration

One of the drivers of the development and application of doctrine in administrative law is the concept of the principles of good administration. On one view, courts and administrators work collaboratively to produce rational and efficient policies and decisions.

Fleshing out the principles of good administration is an interest of mine, so I was intrigued to see, via Slaw, that the British government has created a list of design principles for its new digital service:

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. Build for inclusion
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better

With some modifications, there are principles here that all administrators can apply. Take number 8 for instance. Maintaining focus on services, rather than institutions, is salutary guidance. Empire building by internal actors is not appropriate. Administrative structures are not ends in themselves. It is the needs of those being served which count. Good on the designers for starting with those.

This content has been updated on June 11, 2014 at 09:48.