Fraud prevention and detection

Bristol City Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing, administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

Data matching

The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises.

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 may indicate 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.

We participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative, which is a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise.

The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to the Audit Commission code of practice.

View further information on the Cabinet Office’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information.

Other fraud prevention and detection work

We may also use information provided to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to credit reference agencies for such purposes.  Information held or received may also be used to verify information given in application forms.

Contact information

Internal Audit (NFI)

The Exchange

Corn Street

Bristol, BS1 5TR

Opening Hours


Tel: 0117 92 23421 or 0117 92 22471