National Fraud Initiative

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

In October 2014, as part of the National Fraud Initiative, we sent a number of data sets to the Audit Commission (now replaced by the Cabinet Office) to match data and detect possible fraud across a wide range of public bodies.

What is the role of the Cabinet Office?

The Cabinet Office appoints the auditor to audit our accounts. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

What is data matching?

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation.

No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

Why do we give data to the Cabinet Office?

The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

We are required to provide particular sets of data for matching for each exercise, and these are set out on the Gov.uk website.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Previous exercises were carried out by the Audit Commission under Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. 

It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a code of practice.

More information

For further details on the National Fraud Initiative, please visit the Gov.uk website.

For more information on data matching at the council, please contact:
Elaine Hopkins, Corporate Anti Fraud Manager
Telephone: 01442 228291