Legal requirement to disclose your information

Norfolk County Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it 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 Norfolk County Council’s accounts. It is also responsible for carrying out ‘data-matching’ exercises.

Data-matching involves comparing computer records held by one body with other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information (such as name, address, national insurance number).

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 or error or another explanation until an investigation has been carried out.

The Audit Commission 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 Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance, which has been published in the National Fraud Initiative section of the Audit Commission’s website. The guidance for local government shows that we must provide the Audit Commission with personal details that we hold for our payroll, pensions, insurance claimants, holders of blue badges for the disabled, holders of concessionary travel passes, private supported care-home residents, and trade creditors.

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, and Norfolk County Council is compelled to hand over the information.

Data-matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a code of practice.

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

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