Anti Fraud privacy notice
What the Anti-fraud privacy notice is
The council has a legal duty to protect the public funds it administers and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering. The council acts as a ‘competent authority’ under data protection legislation, for the data we process for law enforcement purposes.
It is our policy to commit to a programme of zero tolerance and appropriately investigate all allegations of fraud and associated criminal activity that are reported to us. We will ensure all cases are appropriately sanctioned and this means that you could be prosecuted if you commit fraud. We undertake Interviews Under Caution where appropriate and we will always take steps to recover any losses incurred.
Where relevant, we may use the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 to undertake covert surveillance of suspected individuals. Data protection legislation allows us to investigate individuals without telling them that we are doing so. If you make a Subject Access Request to the council, we are allowed to withhold any information we have about you that relates to a fraud investigation.
One of the primary objectives of the Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy is to ensure the prevention of fraud and corrupt acts and to ensure that any instances or allegations of these are investigated and dealt with effectively. As part of this strategy we may conduct pro-active counter fraud reviews into transactions and records held across the different business areas of the council. These reviews are designed to identify unusual, incorrect, or potentially fraudulent transactions.
As a Local Authority we are required to participate in the Cabinet Office’s National Fraud Initiative: a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. This involves the provision of particular sets of data to the Minister for the Cabinet Office for matching, for each exercise, as detailed on the National Fraud Initiative
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 2018.
We may disclose information you provide to a Specified Anti-Fraud Organisation (SAFO) for the purposes of preventing fraud. A SAFO enables or facilitates the sharing of information for the prevention of fraud and is specified by an order made by the Secretary of State. Disclosures of information from a public authority to a SAFO are subject to a Code of Practice and this, along with a full list of SAFOs we may share information with, can be found on the Home Office website.
CIFAS Fraud Database
The council participates in the CIFAS National Fraud Database. CIFAS is an independent, not-for profit company trusted by the UK government. It runs a national fraud prevention network where personal information from public and private sector organisations like local authorities, police, utility companies and banks are kept and shared. These organisations record and share details of internal and external fraud attempted against their business.
The information is stored in secure databases and CIFAS members use this data and related intelligence in their processes for activities like verifying applications, preventing money laundering or screening staff.
More information can be found on the CIFAS website
We carry out a service to deliver fraud investigation work on behalf of Barnet Homes to assist in taking criminal action against perpetrators committing offences relation to Social Housing as well as ensuring the return or retention of Social Housing stock and recovering any losses incurred. We also may enter into agreements with other Social Housing Providers to investigate offences relating to Social Housing. Such agreements include the sharing of personal data between bodies to assist in the prevention and detection of crime, the prosecution of offenders, and the recovery of assets.
We may carry out work for other Local Authorities on their behalf to investigate offences where they do not have the resource or Accredited Officers to carry out this work themselves. Examples of this work would be entering into an agreement to utilise our Accredited Financial Investigators to investigate offences contrary to the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and pursue confiscation of funds that have been derived by a person’s criminal conduct. Such agreements include the sharing of personal data between bodies to assist in the prevention and detection of crime, the prosecution of offenders, and the recovery of assets.
The council is a data controller for the investigations that we undertake on behalf of other organisations like housing associations and local authorities. We share the evidence and outcome of investigations with the organisation that employs us to deliver anti-fraud work for them.
Personal information collected
- Address & contact details
- Financial information
- Equalities Information (ethnicity and religion)
- Property and housing information
- Criminal/Prosecution Information
- Health/Medical Information
- Social Services Record
- Human Resources Records
- Other Agencies involved
- Information from the Local Authority from where you live and previously lived
- Family/Relationship Information
- NHS number
- Images in photographs or film/CCTV
Who we share the information with
- Judicial Agencies (Courts)
- Legal representatives
- Expert Witnesses
- Council services
- Government departments (DWP, The Cabinet Office)
- Professional regulatory bodies
- UK Border Agency
- Council Legal Service
- Insurance companies
- Other local authorities
- Specified Anti-Fraud Organisations and CIFAS
- Organisations were are working for, such as housing providers and other local authorities
- Professional Regulatory Bodies
- Housing providers
- Home Office
- Credit Reference Agencies
- in certain circumstances employers
We will only share information with these organisations where it is appropriate and legal to do so.
We may also share information, for example, if there is a risk of serious harm or threat to life.
Legislation that applies
The legal basis for Counter Fraud investigations is set out below:
- Section 151, Local Government Act 1972
- The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013
- Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (Part 6)
- Section 68 of the Serious Crime Act 2007
- Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013
- Housing Act 1985
- The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017
- Fraud Act 2006
- Theft Act 1968
- Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981
- Proceeds of Crime act 2002
- Criminal Finances Act 2017
- Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
- Disabled Persons' Parking Badges Act 2013
- Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970
All criminal investigations conducted by a local authority are governed by and compliant with the:
- Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act 1996
- Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
- Human Rights Act 1998
- Investigatory Powers Act 2016
- Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
How long we keep your information
The standard retention period for anti-fraud records is 6 years. This is defined as 6 years after the last entry in a record.
Records must only be retained beyond the default retention period if their retention can be justified for statutory, regulatory, legal or security reasons or for their historic value.
In cases where criminal prosecutions have taken place data may be kept for a longer period to cater for appeals and retrials. The standard retention period for such cases is 7 years from the date of conviction.