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 National Fraud Initiative (NFI) run by the Cabinet Office 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 NFI currently requires the Council to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. The Council is required to provide particular sets of data to the NFI for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the NFI’s guidance, which can be found online at the  NationalFraud Initiative 

The use of data by the NFI in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 6 and schedule 9 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Data matching by the NFI is subject to a Code of Data Matching Practice.

For further information on the NFI’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, visit the National Fraud Initiative.

For further information on data matching at this authority contact: Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Office, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 1WA