On June 9th, 2022 the Arkansas Supreme Court issued a decision ordering the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services to provide information relating to an algorithm it implemented during the pandemic to process unemployment claims. Legal Aid of Arkansas learned that the agency implemented an algorithm leading to thousands of claims being wrongfully flagged, leading to delays as long as six months to over one year for benefits. We sought information about this algorithm through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but the state withheld the algorithm, claiming that it was exempt from FOIA. The Arkansas Supreme Court agreed that the information was subject to FOIA and must be provided. This decision is important because it helps ensure transparency in how algorithms and other technology are utilized in vital social safety net programs.
Find updates on this case here! https://arlegalaid.org/what-we-do/advocacy-work/division-of-workforce-services-case.html