As a Council, we are required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. We may share information that we are provided with to other organisations responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
The Audit Commission appoints auditors who audit our final accounts. They are also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
What is data matching?
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one organisation with records held by the same or another organisation 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 that 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 carry out data matching?
We are currently required to participate in data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We must provide certain sets of data to the Audit Commission for this purpose.
The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. This means that we do not need the consent of the individuals involved, under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice.
Where to find further information
Details of the information that we are required to provide, the data matching code of practice and further information relating to the Audit Commission’s legal powers are set out in guidance. This is available on the Audit Commission website.