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National fraud initiative

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The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against any 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.

The Cabinet Office currently 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 Minister for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the cabinet office guidance.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998 but is subject to a Code of Practice.

Local government transparency

The local government transparency code requires us to publish the following information relating to fraud:

Total number of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud- No investigators are employed by the council. Upon the introduction of the Single Fraud Investigation Service, the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) took over responsibility for benefits fraud investigations. Information regarding the total number of fraud cases investigated can be sought via the DWP.

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