Should we index the law to advances in IT? It is this subject worthy of the philo baccalaureate posed this morning by the Secretary of State for disabled people when she refused a bill on the pretext that “no computer system will be able to implement it”.
On the morning of June 17, 2021, the hemicycle of the National Assembly hosted a heated debate on the allowance for disabled adults (AAH). Following a Senate vote last March, the National Assembly had to vote on this text which wishes to individualize the payment of this assistance, currently indexed to the income of the spouse of a disabled person.
It’s because of IT
The bill, which imposed itself on the legislative and media agenda after a mobilization of the publication of a petition on the Senate website, was rejected by the majority LREM group in the National Assembly, which blocked it. the vote. A scandal for some opponents, such as MP Stéphane Peu who considers this measure discriminating. ” Living as a couple or being financially independent is the choice that the current system imposes on people with disabilities. This “price of love”, as some call it, seems unacceptable to us. »Explains the chosen one.
To justify her opposition to this measure, Sophie Cluzel, the Secretary of State in charge of people with disabilities, explains that “ this PPL (draft law Editor’s note.) will not be able to apply for years because no computer system will be able to implement it “. A convoluted and dubious justification as underlined by the deputy François Ruffin who mocks the inability of the ” start-up nation »To develop its IT tools.
“The computer does not allow it …” Laughter and amazement, in the hemicycle. According to Minister Sophie Cluzel, we could not de-maritalize the Disabled Adult Allowance because “computer-wise, we are not ready”. Long live the start-up nation… and good faith! #AAH
– François Ruffin (@Francois_Ruffin) June 17, 2021
There is no doubt that far-reaching legislative changes lead to technical and technological adaptation needs, but justifying the government’s refusal by using the excuse of the limits of information technology is more than delicate. Let’s say it again: IT is a tool. Computing does what is asked of it without asking questions.
A political decision more than a technological one
Philosophically, the justification is also limited. Code is a malleable material which is quite suitable for intelligent automated calculations. The most gifted AIs in the world can draw, sing, or even write poems. Indexing the payment of assistance to personal income is not outside the domain of IT.
More prosaically, this refusal to change the law because of the limits of our computer systems is quite questionable. It is not the calculation capacities of our ” Informatic Systems »Which are the bottleneck here, it is the human resources that we devote to making these systems evolve. In the amending finance bill for 2021, the section ” Innovation and transformation digitalques Of the “transformation and civil service” plan only collected 15.8 million euros. Of course, other organizations like the Interministerial digital department also act on the subject with different envelopes, but obviously the means allocated by the state are not sufficient.
The task may be complex, the systems in place may be old and difficult to modernize, but there is nothing impossible about it. It is a question of time and resources. The systems can evolve, it is enough that the law authorizes them to do so.
” We are the government of real rights, not incantatory rights », Chanted Sophie Cluzel to justify the timidity of the government on the subject. But to say no to an idea at a moment T under the pretext that currently “no computer system will be able to implement it Is to take the problem backwards. It is to take refuge behind a false idea of computing to justify a political decision. To index a right to the capacities of our computer systems is to put the code above the law.