The City Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it amongst its own departments to improve working practices and the delivery of services for which they are responsible. By sharing this information between Council departments (on a strictly controlled and regulated basis), the Council is currently intending to allow re-use of information from the council tax database. This will include checking proof of residence for debt recovery purposes. The City Council may also share information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud. We will only share information when obliged to do so by rule of law or where the law permits.
The Council carries out data matching activity to prevent and detect erroneous claims for single person council tax discount.
Data matching involves comparing records held by one body against other records held by the same or another body. This is usually personal information. Data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there is an inconsistency which 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 re-use of council tax data by the Council is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in s1 of the Localism Act 2011. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Further specific information on the data matching exercise can be obtained from Data Discoveries Ltd at 16 Timber Bush, Edinburgh, EH6 6HQ or on 0131 555 1100