National Fraud Initiative | Oxfordshire County Council

National Fraud Initiative

How Oxfordshire County Council protects the public funds it administers.

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 Cabinet Office administers the National fraud Initiative (previously administered by the Audit Commission), a data matching exercise that is run every two years. 

Fair Processing Notice

This authority is required to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for; auditing, or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Cabinet Office is 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.

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise.

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.

Data security

The data that is supplied as part of the NFI process is uploaded via the NFI website. The website that is utilised for both the data submissions and the release of the results uses an encrypted connection between the user's browser and our servers. This is shown by the "https" part of the address and the browser will show a locked padlock when on the site. The encryption used is standard 128-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). This is the standard encryption available on the internet and is used for all secure sites including banking and online shopping. It gives the highest level of protection possible whenever using credit cards or undertake other financial or confidential transactions over the Internet.

This technology architecture has been used at Synectics for data submissions from major national companies for years and it has recently been given a clean bill of health by the Information Commissioners Office (the national body responsible for the upkeep of Data Protection principles). Their review, the results of which are to be released shortly, not only covered the technical aspects but also the controls relating to areas such as physical/ logical access, backup arrangements and staff vetting. They are satisfied with the levels of security by concluding that the controls in place are proportionate to the sensitivity of the data being handled and stored.

Further information

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

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.

Last reviewed
11 July 2017
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