National Fraud Initiative
This authority 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 Auditor General for Wales (the Auditor General) audits the accounts of this authority. He 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 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 Auditor General 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 Auditor General for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance, which can be found at http://www.audit.wales//about-us/national-fraud-initiative
The use of data by the Auditor General in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under his powers in Part 3 of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Audit General is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found at http://www.wao.gov.uk/sites/default/files/download_documents/The_Auditor_General's_Code_of_Data_Matching_English.pdf
For further information on the Auditor General’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see http://www.wao.gov.uk/about-us/national-fraud-initiative.