Legal expert systems in social administration: From fearing computers to fearing accountants

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5 Citations (Scopus)


In the nineteen-eighties, the Tessec expert system was developed and several studies showed that this system could improve administrative decision making under the Netherlands' General Assistance Act. Despite this favourable evaluation, Dutch municipalities did not adopt Tessec and the development of the system was halted. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, there is a series of new expert systems on the Dutch market, the MR-systems. These MR-systems perform the same tasks as Tessec and are in fact very similar. There is however one important difference: the MR-systems are widely used. In this article, the author tries to find a sound explanation for both the failure of Tessec, and the success of the MR systems. As he argues, this explanation can be found in a shift in attitude towards the role of legislation during the past decade. This shift has facilitated the adoption of legal expert systems.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)143-154
Number of pages12
JournalInformation polity
Issue number2,3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • METIS-212935
  • IR-98894

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