Data Matching: National Fraud Initiative
We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We use and share the personal information provided to us to prevent and / or detect potential fraud and other crime. We do this by conducting data matching ourselves and by sharing personal information with other public bodies (such as the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, the police, credit reference agencies and other local authorities). Disclosure of personal information in this way is either necessary for the prevention and / or detection of crime, to assist in emergency response management or is necessary to comply with one of our legal obligations.
Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one organisation (such as ourselves) against computer records held by another organisation (such as HMRC) to see how far they match. This allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified, as it highlights inconsistencies that may require further investigation. No decision is made about whether there is fraud, error or another explanation until an investigation has been carried out.
The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in data matching exercises under the National Fraud Initiative to assist in the prevention and / or detection of fraud. We are legally required to provide particular computerised information to the Cabinet Office for this purpose in accordance with Part 6 Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and this does not require the consent of the individuals whose information is supplied.
For more information please see Taking part in the National Fraud Initiative and the code of data matching practice for the National Fraud Initiative.