National Fraud Initiative
The Education Authority Western Region is required 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.
The Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) audits the accounts of the EAWR and he is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises under his powers as described in Articles 4A to 4G of the Audit and Accountability (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.
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 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 C&AG currently requires the EAWR 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 the C&AG for matching - full details are set out on the Northern Ireland Audit Office website, www.niauditoffice.gov.uk
The use of data by the C&AG in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. Data matching by the C&AG, however, is subject to a Code of Practice and this may be found at www.niauditoffice.gov.uk
For further information on the Comptroller and Auditor General's legal powers and the reasons why he matches particular information click here
To view Frequently Asked Questions in relation to the National Fraud Initiative click here
For further information on data matching at the Education Authority Western Region contact either Joe McQuaid (Data Protection Officer) 028 8241 1247 or Seamus Hannigan (Assistant Finance Officer) 028 8241 1312.