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.
Audit Scotland conducts data matching exercises to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud and other crime. This is one of the ways in which Audit Scotland meets its responsibility of promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the 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 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 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.
Audit Scotland 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 (which may include contact details) to the The Cabinet Office, who undertake the data matching on Audit Scotland's behalf. The main match types and the organisations to which they refer are set out in the National Fraud Initiative Privacy Notice which can be found at: National Fraud Initiative - Privacy Notice
The processing of data by Audit Scotland (in practice the processing is undertaken by the Cabinet Office on Audit Scotland's behalf) in a data matching exercise is carried out under the powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.
Data matching is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found at: Audit Scotland - Code of Data Matching Practice 2018
For further information on data matching at this authority contact Gail Urquhart, Audit Manager, Exchange House, 231 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1RX