Data sharing and matching

We are required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. In order to prevent and detect fraud, we are required to share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an anti-fraud data matching exercise carried out by the Cabinet Office and is the largest public sector anti-fraud exercise carried out in the UK.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by either the same or another body. 

Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent or erroneous claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate an inconsistency requiring further investigation. No assumption is made as to whether there is a fraud, error or some other explanation, until an investigation is carried out.

The Cabinet Office requires us to provide a number of datasets, which is set out in the Cabinet Office's Code of Practice

The exercise involves Woking Borough Council providing data from:

  • Staff payroll

  • Trade Creditors

  • Housing Benefits (supplied by the DWP)

  • Council Tax

  • Electoral Register

  • Insurance claimants

  • Housing

  • Licenses

  • Transport passes and permits

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 1998.

For further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see their Fair Processing Notice

If you have any queries about how your personal information is processed by the Council, please visit our Data Protection webpage.