We are required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. We may share
information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering
public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
On behalf of the Accounts Commission, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit
the accounts of Falkirk Council. It is also responsible for carrying out data matching
What is data matching?
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, but the inclusion of personal data within
a data matching exercise does not mean that any specific individual is under suspicion.
Where a match is found it indicates that there may be 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. The exercise can also
help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.
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 to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise, and these are set
out in Audit Scotland's instructions (PDF, 483KB).
How is the data used?
The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with
statutory authority, normally under its 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 1998.
Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a
Code of Practice (PDF, 318KB).
For further information on Audit Scotland's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the full text privacy notice at National Fraud
Initiative in Scotland Privacy notice (150KB, PDF).