National Fraud Initiative
As a Public Authority, Carmarthenshire County Council, as the administering authority of the Fire Pension Scheme for Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service and North Wales Fire & Rescue Service, is required by law to protect the public funds that it administers. The Authority may share information which has been previously provided with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent detect fraud.
The Auditor General is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises under its powers under the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004.
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 fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found, it indicates that there is an inconsistency which required further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The Auditor General currently requires the Authority to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud, in which the Auditor General requires the Authority to provide the information it holds for this purpose. The Authority is required to provide particular sets of data to the Auditor General for matching. Details are set out on the Wales Audit Office website: www.wao.gov.uk
As the use of data by the Auditor General in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority (Part 3A of the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004), it does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching by the Auditor General is subject to a Code of Practice. This is to help all bodies involved in data matching to comply with the law and good practice, including maintaining data security (see www.wao.gov.uk)
For further information on the Auditor General’s legal powers and the reasons why particular information is matched, please see page 26 of this Guide or contact Martin Morgan, Deputy Pensions Manager by telephoning 01267 224 452 or via email on MMorgan@carmarthenshire.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can write to the Dyfed Pension Fund, County Hall, Carmarthen, SA31 1JP.