Data matching by the Cabinet Office
Winchester City Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.
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 may indicate 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.
The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. Winchester City Council is required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance, which can be found at www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative
The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in 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. This may be found at www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-data-matching-practice-for-national-fraud-initiative
For further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see www.gov.uk/government/publications/fair-processing-national-fraud-initiative/fair-processing-level-3-full-text
For further information on data matching at Winchester City Council please call the NFI Key Contact on 01962 848 401 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Updated: February 2018