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Anti-fraud work (including anti-tax evasion) and National Fraud Initiative

Southwark Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. We may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, law enforcement agencies, or undertake local anti-fraud initiatives, in order to prevent and detect fraud or money laundering. If false or inaccurate information is provided and fraud is identified, details will be passed to fraud prevention agencies for the prevention of further fraud and money laundering.

In addition, the council has an anti- tax evasion policy and where staff or others working on behalf of the council (eg agency workers, volunteers and contractors) suspect that tax evasion may have been facilitated, they must follow the reporting procedures set out in the Anti-tax evasion policy (PDF, 279kb) so that a report can be submitted to HMRC if required.

Southwark Council has a statutory duty to participate in the biennial National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise. The exercise will be conducted using the data matching powers bestowed on the Minister for the Cabinet Office by Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (LAAA). The provision of data by the council to the Minister does not require the consent of the individuals concerned.

We're required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Cabinet Office’s guidance. The Code of data matching practice explains the data matching work the NFI does.

Data matching involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll or council tax records of a body, against other records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. The data is usually personal information. The data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims, payments and information to be identified. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

For further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information. For further information on data matching at Southwark Council, contact the Data Protection Officer by emailing dpo@southwark.gov.uk.

Page last updated: 17 January 2023

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