East Northamptonshire 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.
The Cabinet Office appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. It is also 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 Offices 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 Guidance.
The NFI is conducted using the data matching powers bestowed on the Minister for the Cabinet Office by Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act). It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under current data protection legislation. There are certain public sector bodies that are required to provide data for the NFI on a mandatory basis. In addition, bodies can provide data to the Cabinet Office for matching on a voluntary basis under schedule 9, 3 of the Act.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code Of Data Matching.
For further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the Cabinet Office’s Privacy Notice.
For further information on data matching at this authority contact Jacqui Calvert 01832 742012.