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National fraud initiative

South Lanarkshire Council 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.

On behalf of the Accounts Commission, Audit Scotland appoints auditors to examine the accounts of South Lanarkshire Council. Audit Scotland also assists appointed auditors by conducting a National Fraud Initiative. On termination of the Accounts Commission in March 2015 Audit Scotland will act of the behalf of the Cabinet Office. The Initiative is a data matching exercise to promote the proper use of public money

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potential fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is a fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

Audit Scotland currently requires South Lanarkshire Council to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We require to provide particular sets of data to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise.

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, under its powers in Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998 however the requirements of this act continue to apply.

Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Data matching practice. This may also be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative.

For more information on the National Fraud Initiative visit  https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative or contact 0303 123 1015.