Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are required by law to protect the public funds they administer. They may share information provided to them 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 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 to match each exercise, and these are set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance, which can be found at 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 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 Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Practice.
For further information on data matching within Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils, contact John Snell, Corporate Manager – Internal Audit, e-mail: John Snell