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 and other crime.
Audit Scotland currently requires us to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), 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, which can be found at: https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/our-work/counter-fraud
Data matching involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll held by one body against other 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 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 exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.
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 by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Practice. This can also be found at: https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/our-work/counter-fraud
For further information on Audit Scotland’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the full text privacy notice at: https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/our-work/counter-fraud or contact Monica Halcro, Acting Senior Manager (Governance and Operations) Finance, NHS Education for Scotland - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)