The National Fraud Initiative and Data Matching

Doncaster 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, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud and error and may match your data internally for the same purpose.  This page gives further information and serves as the Council's notice to residents and customers about how we use your data.

Fair Processing Notice

As part of the National Fraud Initiative, the Council is required to publish this notice about how and why we use your personal data for fraud and error detection.  

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.  Whilst some of the data it matches is optional, the majority of the information matched is mandated by law and as such, Doncaster Council is required to participate.    The NFI is run by the Government's Cabinet Office and undertakes data matching on an annual basis (or more frequently by request).

What is data matching?

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 potentially 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.  Data matches are distributed to Doncaster Council for investigation wherever a match is detected.  The results of all of this work, is annual published in our Transparency web pages and is published also by the Cabinet Office.

Why do we do data matching?

Doncaster Council participates in every Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud and error and to protect the public purse.  We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, as detailed on the Cabinet Office website.  The data that we are required to submit for matching is published on the government's main website on the National Fraud Initiative pages.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.  Further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information can be found on their website using the link above.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a code of practice. The Cabinet Office - Core of Practice on Data Matching

Other fraud prevention and detection work

The overall objective of Doncaster Council’s Anti-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Framework is to discourage and prevent incidents from occurring and ensure any instances are investigated and dealt with effectively in accordance with relevant policies and procedures. This will include a programme of proactive counter-fraud work, including testing of Council transactions / activity in areas at risk of fraud in order to provide levels of assurance on processes in place. Doncaster Council may therefore periodically undertake its own data matching exercises which will conform to the same principles as outlined in the Code of Practice for NFI data matching exercises.

We may also share and supply information to law enforcement agencies, credit reference agencies, Government departments and other external bodies for the prevention and detection of fraud.

We do not require the consent of individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018 for this purpose.  

Further information

For further information on data matching at this authority contact Nicola Frost-Wilson, Internal Audit Manager on 01302 862931 or by searching on the government's website on the National Fraud Initiative pages.

 Additional Links

Last updated: 21 January 2021 13:23:27