We have a legal obligation to safeguard public funds and we reserve the right to check the information you have provided for accuracy, in order to detect fraud. This may involve data matching exercises where we compare different sets of data which we hold for unusual matches or discrepancies; this may also include matching council data with external data sources such as information held by credit reference agencies.
We also take part in anti-fraud data matching exercises carried out by other agencies such as the National Fraud Initiative (operated on behalf of Audit Scotland) and the Housing Benefit Matching Service (conducted on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions) as we have a duty to manage public funds properly. As a result, we will use the information you provide to make sure all amounts we are owed are paid on time, for example, by identifying people who have not paid Council Tax and to help people who are entitled to benefits to claim them.
Where outstanding money is owed, we may also share your information with debt management partners and the courts. We may also share your information for the same purposes with other public organisations, including neighbouring councils that handle public funds, and with the police. We may also share your details with other organisations, including credit reference agencies, to help prevent and detect fraud and to confirm who is living at a particular address.
There is also an expectation that we will assist in the prevention and detection of crime and we will therefore generally supply specific information which we are asked to provide to the police or other crime detection agencies. However, we will only do so where we are satisfied that it is necessary to do so to avoid harm being caused to any specified investigation and that the disclosure would be lawful and proportionate.