We are required to protect the public funds we administer and participate in the Cabinet Office's National Fraud Initiative (NFI). It is a mandatory requirement that we supply Council Tax and Electoral Register Data (annually). We are also required to provide housing benefit, taxi licence, trade creditors, housing waiting list, Council Tax Reduction Scheme, business rates and business grant data  (every 2 years).

Data matching involves comparing the council's sets of data electronically within and between records held by other public bodies. This data is usually comprised of personal information.

We receive the resulting data matches for consideration and investigation where appropriate. The data matching identifies inconsistencies that require further investigation. No assumption is made as to whether there is fraud, error or another explanation until the investigation process is completed.

Investigations undertaken by us can lead to, for instance, the recovery of underpaid Council Tax. There is also an opportunity to identify system weaknesses and review controls.

The NFI is conducted using the data matching powers conferred on the Minister for the Cabinet Office by Part 6 of and Schedule 9 to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. The legal basis for processing personal data is that processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

Across the UK the value of fraud, overpayments and errors identified and prevented across the UK attributed to the NFI amounts to £2.4 billion since its creation in 1996 (source Cabinet Office NFI Report 2022). The main categories of fraud identified includes pension fraud and overpayment, fraudulent or wrongly received Council Tax single person discount, Housing Benefit fraud and overpayment.

View further information on the Notice of Fair Processing for Cabinet Office Data Matching

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