National Fraud Initiative
North Herts District Council is committed to protecting the public funds it holds by preventing and detecting fraud. By law it is also required to assist the Audit Commission to carry out data matching exercises on personal data held by the Council. These exercises are carried out every two years.
Personal data is information that the Council collects from the public and holds on its databases e.g. name and address. The Council collects this data to carry out the services the public require and looks after this data by applying the data protection principles. This means that:
- The information is only used for the reason that you give it to us
- The information is kept secure
- The information is not held for longer than needed
However the Audit Commission does have the power to ask us to supply it with our computer records so that it can carry out a data matching exercise to identify potentially fraudulent claims and payments. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption will be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The use of data by the Audit Commission 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 Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found on the Audit Commission's website. You can also read about the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.