National Fraud Initiative

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit our accounts. 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 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 Audit Commission requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. As a consequence, we must provide information that we hold for this purpose. We are also required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise; these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance, along with the data matching Code of Practice.

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.

For further information on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, please see the Audit Commission’s website.

Further information and contact

For further information on data matching at the Council please contact:

Lucy Cater | Senior Auditor
c/o Cotswold District Council
Trinity Road
Cirencester
Gloucestershire
GL7 1PX
Telephone: 01285 623340
Email: lucy.cater@cotswold.gov.uk

West Oxfordshire District Council
Elmfield
New Yatt Road
Witney
OX28 1PB