As a public authority Gwynedd Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
In October 2016, the latest round of the anti-fraud data matching exercise, known as the National Fraud Initiative (“NFI”) will commence. Gwynedd Council data, along with data from other public bodies, will be presented to the Auditor General for Wales. The Auditor General for Wales is responsible for carrying out data matching exercise under its powers under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004.
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 potentially allows 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 Auditor General requires this authority to provide information it holds for this purpose. The Council is required to provide particular set of data to the Auditor General for matching. Details are set out on the Wales Audit Office website, www.wao.gov.uk
The Auditor General for Wales currently requires the Council in accordance with the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 as amended by the Serious Crimes Act 2007, to participate in his anti-fraud initiative. For this initiative, we are providing the following details for the purposes of comparing with information provided by other public bodies:
- individuals employed by the Council and those who receive Council pension
- full electoral list data
- Council Tax data
- residents in private residential homes that are financially supported by the Council
- holders of “blue badges”
- holders of taxi, market and alcohol licences
- council creditors
- insurance claimants
- individuals with a concessionary bus pass
- individuals with a resident parking permit.
As the use of data by the Auditor General in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority (Part 3A of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004), it does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection legislation.
Data matching by the Auditor General is subject to a Code of Practice. This is to help all bodies involved in data matching to comply with the law and good practice, including maintaining data security (see www.wao.gov.uk).
For further information on the Auditor General’s legal powers and the reasons why he matches particular information, visit the Wales Audit Office website or contact:
- Wales Audit Office, 24 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9LJ