The council is under a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and will use the personal data we hold about you for the prevention and detection of fraud. Safeguards are in place to ensure that this data is kept secure and the privacy of individuals is protected.
For information about reporting fraud concerns please visit Reporting Suspected Fraud
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council is the data controller for the personal information collected. until it has been submitted to the Cabinet Office. Other organisations we work with, such as government departments, are also data controllers.
The personal information we collect from you will be shared with bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, and fraud prevention agencies who will use it to prevent fraud and money laundering and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused services, finance, or employment. We are required to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute offenders or work with law enforcement and other organisations.
The council works with national and local organisations including police forces, the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, the UK Border Agency and the Home Office. It also works with other councils and with public sector led organisations such as the National Anti-Fraud Network, which about 90% of Local Authorities are members of, and LoCTA, which focuses on benefits and business rates fraud.
We provide information to the Cabinet Office for the National Fraud Initiative. This is a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud and the use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. We are required to take part and provide personal data to the Cabinet Office for data matching.
All bodies participating in the Cabinet Office’s data matching exercises receive a report of matches that they should investigate, so they can detect instances of fraud, over- or under-payments and other errors, to take remedial action and update their records accordingly.
Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a Code of Data Matching Practice.
For further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information please refer to National Fraud Initiative Privacy Notice
The council participates in the Cifas National Fraud Database. Cifas is an independent, not-for profit company trusted by the UK government. It runs a national fraud prevention network where personal information from public and private sector organisations like local authorities, police, utility companies and banks is kept and shared. These organisations record and share details of internal and external fraud attempted against their business.
The information is stored in secure databases and Cifas members use this data and related intelligence in their processes for activities like verifying applications, preventing money laundering or screening staff.
More information can be found on the Cifas website.
Data protection legislation includes permissions for use of data which include the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders, and the assessment or collection of taxes and duties.
Local Authorities are empowered by provisions in the Local Government Act, Localism Act and Serious Crime Act to act to protect finances, assets and interests and to disclose information where necessary to do this. There is also legislation covering specific areas of fraud such as money laundering, social housing and blue badge misuse.
Personal information collected can include:
- Date of birth
- Financial information
- Equalities Information
- Health/medical Information
- Address and contact details
- Family/relationship Information
- Information from other agencies
- Criminal/prosecution Information
- Property and housing information
- Images in photographs or film/CCTV
- Information from other Local Authorities
- Human Resources and employment records
Information required for submission to the National Fraud Initiative is determined by the Cabinet Office. Currently we share the following types of information:
- Council tax
- Electoral register
- Housing waiting lists
- Trade creditors payment data
- Council tax reduction scheme
- Housing tenants and right to buy
- Covid-19 Business Grant Payments
- Private supported care home residents
- Personal budgets (direct payments)
- Housing benefits (provided by the Department for Work and Pensions)
- Students eligible for a loan (provided by the Student Loans Company)
- Licences – market trader/operator, taxi driver and personal licences to supply alcohol
- Transport passes and permits (including residents’ parking, blue badges and concessionary travel)
Under data protection legislation, we are permitted to use your information this way because we have a legal obligation to participate in this exercise.
Please get in touch with us if you would like more information about how we process your personal data in relation to fraud prevention.
Our key contact for this is our Corporate Fraud Manager, Martin Granger, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org