Outsourced & Automated

Building on two years of state contracting research, EPIC publishes new report on the oft-forgotten world of government AI procurement.

On September 14, 2023, EPIC published its first in-depth look into state AI procurement: Outsourced & Automated.

Across the country, state and local governments are experimenting with AI tools that outsource important government decisions to private companies, all without public input or oversight. These systems assign children to schools, inform medical decisions about patients, impact policing decisions about where to patrol and whom to target, and determine who receives public benefits. And they are all developed and operated by private companies like Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, and LexisNexis. 

Since 2021, EPIC has been investigating the ways that state agencies procure AI systems. Building on the contracts and records we discovered, this report sheds light on the oft-forgotten world of government AI procurement. It not only highlights the variety of AI systems embedded in state government, but also the major companies behind many of the most common government AI systems.

AI Contracts

To inform Outsourced & Automated, EPIC submitted open records requests to state and local agencies in 27 states and the District of Columbia concerning government contracts with AI companies. We also supplemented our open records requests with research into state contracting databases, interviews with agency employees, and correspondence with legal aid organizations working on issues related to government AI use.

In total, EPIC found 621 state contracts for AI or automated decision-making systems with a total possible market reach of over $720 million. A full database of these contracts with additional information can be found at the link above.