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Fraud prevention privacy notice

Who will own my data once I submit it?

We will own your data once it has been submitted.

Why do you need my information?

We use the information we collect for the purpose of fraud prevention. This information may be gathered from information you have previously provided to us for other purposes.

How we use your personal information

We are required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. In order to achieve this we may be asked to share information you have provided with other bodies responsible for working to prevent and detect fraud. This is done as part of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).

National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is intended to detect fraudulent and incorrect payments from the funds provided by the Government. The work is designed to help reduce the level of many types of fraud including (but not limited to):

  • housing benefit fraud
  • payroll and pension fraud
  • housing tenancy fraud.

This is done through data matching which involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see whether the information provided matches. For example, information you provide to the Housing Benefit team may be matched against information you provide to our Council Tax team to confirm it matches.

The information used is usually personal information such as name and address but is not limited to this and other personal information will be provided. This data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.

Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency which may require 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 this NFI data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, and these are set out by the Cabinet Office. Details of this data matching can be found on the Gov.UK website.

Once the Cabinet Office has completed the data matching exercise, the results are shared with us; we then investigate any inconsistencies to determine whether there is or have been fraud taking place.

Other fraud prevention and detection work

The primary objective of our Counter Fraud and Corruption strategy is to ensure the prevention of fraud and corrupt acts and to ensure that any instances or allegations of these are investigated and dealt with effectively. As part of this strategy we may conduct a programme of pro-active counter fraud reviews into transactions and records held across different business areas. They are designed specifically to identify unusual, incorrect or potentially fraudulent transactions.

We may also use information including personal information to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to credit reference agencies or other external bodies for such purposes. Information held or received may also be used to verify information given for application purposes. We may use a variety of data/ information under Schedule 2 Para 2(1)(a)(b) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (previously Section 29(3)) and Schedule 2 Para 5(3) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (previously Section 35) for the prevention and detection of crime.

What allows you to use my information?

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in 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 or the GDPR.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of practice. 

Further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information are provided on the Gov.UK website.

Who will my information be shared with?

Information will be shared with but is not limited to:

  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • housing partners (trusts and associations)
  • law enforcement agencies

Do I have to provide this information and what happens if I don't?

The information we provide to the Cabinet Office is taken from information you have previously submitted to us in other areas, for example the payment of Council Tax or Housing Benefit or an application for a taxi licence or market trader. As a result, you are not required to provide any additional information.

How long will you keep this data for and why?

The information we provide to the National Fraud Initiative is information you have provided to us for other purposes and that information will be retained in line with the requirements of those purposes as you were informed at the time. Such information is not retained separately once submission to the NFI has been carried out or where there is no identified suspicion of wrongdoing.

How will my information be stored?

Information provided to the NFI is stored on a secure web based application.

Your rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • your right of access - you have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information
  • your right to rectification - you have the right to ask us to rectify information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
  • your right to restriction of processing - you have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your information in certain circumstances
  • your right to object to processing - you have the right to object to the processing of your personal data in certain circumstances

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

To make a request follow the instructions on our Data Protection for you page.

Who can I complain to if I am unhappy about how my data is used?

You can complain directly to our Data Protection team online or by post:

  • Contact the DPO
  • By post: Phil Orchard, Data Protection Officer, HQ, Nicholas Street, Chester, CH1 2NP 

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office using the following details:

Will this information be used to take automated decisions about me?

Information is used to data match information from different sources in order to highlight any areas of concern, decisions based on these results are not made automatically and human interaction is required in order to analyse any provided results.

Will my data be transferred abroad and why?

No, information relating to our submission to the NFI will not be transferred abroad.

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