National Fraud Initiative

The housing association 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.

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 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.

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 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative

From 1 April 2015, responsibility for National Fraud Initiative passed from the Audit Commission to the Cabinet Office. 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. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The existing code of data matching practice will continue in effect until the Minister for the Cabinet Office issues a new code. This may be found at https://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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fair-processing-national-fraud-initiative/fair-processing-level-3-full-text. For further information on data matching at this organisation contact Elfyn Jones – Accountant, Finance Office telephone: – 01570 424361; e-mail:- elfyn.jones@taiceredigion.cymru.