Data Matching and the National Fraud Initiative

By law, Brighton & Hove City Council has to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information given to us with other organisations responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

Data matching involves comparing our departments’ computer records with those of other departments or other organisations. This usually involves personal information and can allow potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. If an inconsistency is found, we can then investigate further. No assumption will be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The Cabinet Office currently requires us, by law, to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to send them particular sets of data for a number of matching exercises, as detailed in the Cabinet Office guidance.

Responsibility for the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) passed from the Audit Commission to the Cabinet Office from 1 April 2015. NFI exercises since this date have used the powers given to the Minister for the Cabinet Office by Part 6 of the Local Accountability Act 2014.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a data matching code of practice.

For further information on the National Fraud Initiative please contact Tony Barnard, Corporate Fraud Manager, on 01273 291330. If you want further information on data matching email the Information Governance Team on data.protection@brighton-hove.gov.uk.