We're helping the Audit Commission combat fraud by providing them with data relating to a number of areas including payroll, pensions payroll, insurance claimants, trade creditors, blue badge passes and private supported care home residents. By law, the County Council is required to hand over the information which is used to check for potential fraudulent claims and payments. Last time the National Fraud Initiative operated – 2010 – total savings throughout the country worth over £275 million were discovered.
National Fraud Initiative Level 2 – Condensed Text
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 Audit Commission appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. It 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 Audit Commission 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 Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance, which can be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi.
The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/national-fraud-initiative/code-of-data-matching-practice/
For further information on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see www.audit-commission.gov.uk/fairprocessing. For further information on data matching at this authority contact Chris Willimsky - Internal Audit 0115 9772240.
Nottinghamshire County Council – Counter Fraud Work – 2014/2015
- Nottinghamshire County Council employed 25 people who were involved in investigating fraud in 2014-15. The Full Time Equivalent of these 25 employees is 24.1. The investigation of fraud is only a part of these employees’ responsibilities.
- Nottinghamshire County Council did not employ any professionally accredited counter fraud specialists involved in investigating fraud against the Council in 2014-15.
- The total cost of employee time spent investigating fraud in 2014-15 was £44,168. This does not include any estimate of time spent on the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) as this takes place every two years and would lead to very variable figures for those years in which the NFI is run.
- Nottinghamshire County Council investigated a total of 28 cases which resulted in action being taken to prevent a payment, stop an entitlement, raise a debt, some form of internal disciplinary action or dismissal in 2014-15.
- Powers under the Prevention of Social Housing Fraud (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 201432, or similar powers do not apply to Nottinghamshire County Council.