Promoting the Use of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in the Federal Government

Cited as:85 FR 78939
Court:Executive Office Of The President
Publication Date:08 Dec 2020
Record Number:2020-27065
Presidential Documents
78939
Federal Register
Vol. 85, No. 236
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Title 3—
The President
Executive Order 13960 of December 3, 2020
Promoting the Use of Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence in
the Federal Government
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the
laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. Artificial intelligence (AI) promises to drive the growth
of the United States economy and improve the quality of life of all Americans.
In alignment with Executive Order 13859 of February 11, 2019 (Maintaining
American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence), executive departments and
agencies (agencies) have recognized the power of AI to improve their oper-
ations, processes, and procedures; meet strategic goals; reduce costs; enhance
oversight of the use of taxpayer funds; increase efficiency and mission
effectiveness; improve quality of services; improve safety; train workforces;
and support decision making by the Federal workforce, among other positive
developments. Given the broad applicability of AI, nearly every agency
and those served by those agencies can benefit from the appropriate use
of AI.
Agencies are already leading the way in the use of AI by applying it
to accelerate regulatory reform; review Federal solicitations for regulatory
compliance; combat fraud, waste, and abuse committed against taxpayers;
identify information security threats and assess trends in related illicit activi-
ties; enhance the security and interoperability of Federal Government infor-
mation systems; facilitate review of large datasets; streamline processes for
grant applications; model weather patterns; facilitate predictive maintenance;
and much more.
Agencies are encouraged to continue to use AI, when appropriate, to benefit
the American people. The ongoing adoption and acceptance of AI will
depend significantly on public trust. Agencies must therefore design, develop,
acquire, and use AI in a manner that fosters public trust and confidence
while protecting privacy, civil rights, civil liberties, and American values,
consistent with applicable law and the goals of Executive Order 13859.
Certain agencies have already adopted guidelines and principles for the
use of AI for national security or defense purposes, such as the Department
of Defense’s Ethical Principles for Artificial Intelligence (February 24, 2020),
and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Principles of Artificial
Intelligence Ethics for the Intelligence Community (July 23, 2020) and its
Artificial Intelligence Ethics Framework for the Intelligence Community (July
23, 2020). Such guidelines and principles ensure that the use of AI in
those contexts will benefit the American people and be worthy of their
trust.
Section 3 of this order establishes additional principles (Principles) for the
use of AI in the Federal Government for purposes other than national security
and defense, to similarly ensure that such uses are consistent with our
Nation’s values and are beneficial to the public. This order further establishes
a process for implementing these Principles through common policy guidance
across agencies.
Sec. 2. Policy. (a) It is the policy of the United States to promote the
innovation and use of AI, where appropriate, to improve Government oper-
ations and services in a manner that fosters public trust, builds confidence
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in AI, protects our Nation’s values, and remains consistent with all applicable
laws, including those related to privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.
(b) It is the policy of the United States that responsible agencies, as
defined in section 8 of this order, shall, when considering the design,
development, acquisition, and use of AI in Government, be guided by the
common set of Principles set forth in section 3 of this order, which are
designed to foster public trust and confidence in the use of AI, protect
our Nation’s values, and ensure that the use of AI remains consistent with
all applicable laws, including those related to privacy, civil rights, and
civil liberties.
(c) It is the policy of the United States that the Principles for the use
of AI in Government shall be governed by common policy guidance issued
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as outlined in section
4 of this order, consistent with applicable law.
Sec. 3. Principles for Use of AI in Government. When designing, developing,
acquiring, and using AI in the Federal Government, agencies shall adhere
to the following Principles:
(a) Lawful and respectful of our Nation’s values. Agencies shall design,
develop, acquire, and use AI in a manner that exhibits due respect for
our Nation’s values and is consistent with the Constitution and all other
applicable laws and policies, including those addressing privacy, civil rights,
and civil liberties.
(b) Purposeful and performance-driven. Agencies shall seek opportunities
for designing, developing, acquiring, and using AI, where the benefits of
doing so significantly outweigh the risks, and the risks can be assessed
and managed.
(c) Accurate, reliable, and effective. Agencies shall ensure that their appli-
cation of AI is consistent with the use cases for which that AI was trained,
and such use is accurate, reliable, and effective.
(d) Safe, secure, and resilient. Agencies shall ensure the safety, security,
and resiliency of their AI applications, including resilience when confronted
with systematic vulnerabilities, adversarial manipulation, and other malicious
exploitation.
(e) Understandable. Agencies shall ensure that the operations and outcomes
of their AI applications are sufficiently understandable by subject matter
experts, users, and others, as appropriate.
(f) Responsible and traceable. Agencies shall ensure that human roles
and responsibilities are clearly defined, understood, and appropriately as-
signed for the design, development, acquisition, and use of AI. Agencies
shall ensure that AI is used in a manner consistent with these Principles
and the purposes for which each use of AI is intended. The design, develop-
ment, acquisition, and use of AI, as well as relevant inputs and outputs
of particular AI applications, should be well documented and traceable,
as appropriate and to the extent practicable.
(g) Regularly monitored. Agencies shall ensure that their AI applications
are regularly tested against these Principles. Mechanisms should be main-
tained to supersede, disengage, or deactivate existing applications of AI
that demonstrate performance or outcomes that are inconsistent with their
intended use or this order.
(h) Transparent. Agencies shall be transparent in disclosing relevant infor-
mation regarding their use of AI to appropriate stakeholders, including the
Congress and the public, to the extent practicable and in accordance with
applicable laws and policies, including with respect to the protection of
privacy and of sensitive law enforcement, national security, and other pro-
tected information.
(i) Accountable. Agencies shall be accountable for implementing and en-
forcing appropriate safeguards for the proper use and functioning of their
applications of AI, and shall monitor, audit, and document compliance
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with those safeguards. Agencies shall provide appropriate training to all
agency personnel responsible for the design, development, acquisition, and
use of AI.
Sec. 4. Implementation of Principles. (a) Existing OMB policies currently
address many aspects of information and information technology design,
development, acquisition, and use that apply, but are not unique, to AI.
To the extent they are consistent with the Principles set forth in this order
and applicable law, these existing policies shall continue to apply to relevant
aspects of AI use in Government.
(b) Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Director of OMB (Director),
in coordination with key stakeholders identified by the Director, shall pub-
licly post a roadmap for the policy guidance that OMB intends to create
or revise to better support the use of AI, consistent with this order. This
roadmap shall include, where appropriate, a schedule for engaging with
the public and timelines for finalizing relevant policy guidance. In addressing
novel aspects of the use of AI in Government, OMB shall consider updates
to the breadth of its policy guidance, including OMB Circulars and Manage-
ment Memoranda.
(c) Agencies shall continue to use voluntary consensus standards developed
with industry participation, where available, when such use would not
be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impracticable. Such stand-
ards shall also be taken into consideration by OMB when revising or devel-
oping AI guidance.
Sec. 5. Agency Inventory of AI Use Cases. (a) Within 60 days of the date
of this order, the Federal Chief Information Officers Council (CIO Council),
in coordination with other interagency bodies as it deems appropriate, shall
identify, provide guidance on, and make publicly available the criteria,
format, and mechanisms for agency inventories of non-classified and non-
sensitive use cases of AI by agencies.
(b) Within 180 days of the CIO Council’s completion of the directive
in section 5(a) of this order, and annually thereafter, each agency shall
prepare an inventory of its non-classified and non-sensitive use cases of
AI, within the scope defined by section 9 of this order, including current
and planned uses, consistent with the agency’s mission.
(c) As part of their respective inventories of AI use cases, agencies shall
identify, review, and assess existing AI deployed and operating in support
of agency missions for any inconsistencies with this order.
(i) Within 120 days of completing their respective inventories, agencies
shall develop plans either to achieve consistency with this order for each
AI application or to retire AI applications found to be developed or
used in a manner that is not consistent with this order. These plans
must be approved by the agency-designated responsible official(s), as de-
scribed in section 8 of this order, within this same 120-day time period.
(ii) In coordination with the Agency Data Governance Body and relevant
officials from agencies not represented within that body, agencies shall
strive to implement the approved plans within 180 days of plan approval,
subject to existing resource levels.
(d) Within 60 days of the completion of their respective inventories of
use cases of AI, agencies shall share their inventories with other agencies,
to the extent practicable and consistent with applicable law and policy,
including those concerning protection of privacy and of sensitive law enforce-
ment, national security, and other protected information. This sharing shall
be coordinated through the CIO and Chief Data Officer Councils, as well
as other interagency bodies, as appropriate, to improve interagency coordina-
tion and information sharing for common use cases.
(e) Within 120 days of the completion of their inventories, agencies shall
make their inventories available to the public, to the extent practicable
and in accordance with applicable law and policy, including those con-
cerning the protection of privacy and of sensitive law enforcement, national
security, and other protected information.
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Sec. 6. Interagency Coordination. Agencies are expected to participate in
interagency bodies for the purpose of advancing the implementation of the
Principles and the use of AI consistent with this order. Within 45 days
of this order, the CIO Council shall publish a list of recommended interagency
bodies and forums in which agencies may elect to participate, as appropriate
and consistent with their respective authorities and missions.
Sec. 7. AI Implementation Expertise. (a) Within 90 days of the date of
this order, the Presidential Innovation Fellows (PIF) program, administered
by the General Services Administration (GSA) in collaboration with other
agencies, shall identify priority areas of expertise and establish an AI track
to attract experts from industry and academia to undertake a period of
work at an agency. These PIF experts will work within agencies to further
the design, development, acquisition, and use of AI in Government, consistent
with this order.
(b) Within 45 days of the date of this order, the Office of Personnel
Management (OPM), in coordination with GSA and relevant agencies, shall
create an inventory of Federal Government rotational programs and determine
how these programs can be used to expand the number of employees with
AI expertise at the agencies.
(c) Within 180 days of the creation of the inventory of Government rota-
tional programs described in section 7(b) of this order, OPM shall issue
a report with recommendations for how the programs in the inventory
can be best used to expand the number of employees with AI expertise
at the agencies. This report shall be shared with the interagency coordination
bodies identified pursuant to section 6 of this order, enabling agencies
to better use these programs for the use of AI, consistent with this order.
Sec. 8. Responsible Agencies and Officials. (a) For purposes of this order,
the term ‘‘agency’’ refers to all agencies described in section 3502, subsection
(1), of title 44, United States Code, except for the agencies described in
section 3502, subsection (5), of title 44.
(b) This order applies to agencies that have use cases for AI that fall
within the scope defined in section 9 of this order, and excludes the Depart-
ment of Defense and those agencies and agency components with functions
that lie wholly within the Intelligence Community. The term ‘‘Intelligence
Community’’ has the meaning given the term in section 3003 of title 50,
United States Code.
(c) Within 30 days of the date of this order, each agency shall specify
the responsible official(s) at that agency who will coordinate implementation
of the Principles set forth in section 3 of this order with the Agency Data
Governance Body and other relevant officials and will collaborate with the
interagency coordination bodies identified pursuant to section 6 of this
order.
Sec. 9. Scope of Application. (a) This order uses the definition of AI set
forth in section 238(g) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal
Year 2019 as a reference point. As Federal Government use of AI matures
and evolves, OMB guidance developed or revised pursuant to section 4
of this order shall include such definitions as are necessary to ensure the
application of the Principles in this order to appropriate use cases.
(b) Except for the exclusions set forth in section 9(d) of this order, or
provided for by applicable law, the Principles and implementation guidance
in this order shall apply to AI designed, developed, acquired, or used
specifically to advance the execution of agencies’ missions, enhance decision
making, or provide the public with a specified benefit.
(c) This order applies to both existing and new uses of AI; both stand-
alone AI and AI embedded within other systems or applications; AI devel-
oped both by the agency or by third parties on behalf of agencies for
the fulfilment of specific agency missions, including relevant data inputs
used to train AI and outputs used in support of decision making; and
agencies’ procurement of AI applications.
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(d) This order does not apply to:
(i) AI used in defense or national security systems (as defined in 44
U.S.C. 3552(b)(6) or as determined by the agency), in whole or in part,
although agencies shall adhere to other applicable guidelines and principles
for defense and national security purposes, such as those adopted by
the Department of Defense and the Office of the Director of National
Intelligence;
(ii) AI embedded within common commercial products, such as word
processors or map navigation systems, while noting that Government use
of such products must nevertheless comply with applicable law and policy
to assure the protection of safety, security, privacy, civil rights, civil
liberties, and American values; and
(iii) AI research and development (R&D) activities, although the Principles
and OMB implementation guidance should inform any R&D directed at
potential future applications of AI in the Federal Government.
Sec. 10. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed
to impair or otherwise affect:
(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency,
or the head thereof; or
(ii) the functions of the Director relating to budgetary, administrative,
or legislative proposals.
(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and
subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit,
substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party
against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers,
employees, or agents, or any other person.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 3, 2020.
[FR Doc. 2020–27065
Filed 12–7–20; 8:45 am]
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