Protecting Public Funds
Swindon Borough Council is required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. In order to prevent and detect fraud, we may also share information that has been provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.
The Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority and 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 fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made however, as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The Audit Commission requires Swindon Borough Council to participate in a data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. As a consequence, the Council 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, which can be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi along with a Code of Practice for data matching that the Audit Commission must follow.
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.
Swindon Borough Council may use data that you have provided to carry out internal data matching for the purposes of detection and prevention of fraud.
See also: Audit Commission Website: An independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local public services to deliver better outcomes for everyone (www.audit-commission.gov.uk).