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Data Sharing to Identify Fraud

Ashford Borough 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 in order to prevent and detect fraud.

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. We are required to provide particular sets of data for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the guidance which can be found on the government's National Fraud Initiative page.

The processing 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. 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 in the government's Code of Data Matching.

For further information on the National Fraud Initiative’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, read the Statutory Guidance on Fair Processing.

For further information on data matching at this authority contact Rich Clarke, Head of Audit Partnership, by email rich.clarke@ashford.gov.uk.

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