Toggle menu

Corporate Fraud Team data matching

At Gateshead Council we are opposed to fraud and corruption in all forms and we advocate a zero-tolerance approach. Fraud and corruption cheats the local taxpayer and undermines our aim to 'Make Gateshead a place where everyone thrives', by providing value-for-money services in an open, honest and accountable way.

As part of this responsibility we actively participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), a national data-matching exercise currently run by the Cabinet Office under its statutory powers. Find more information on the NFI's work on our NFI webpage.

As well as the NFI, under our Counter Fraud and Corruption Strategy, we carry out data matching/analytical exercises to proactively seek out fraud and error in areas identified as being at risk.

The Corporate Fraud Team carries out this programmed work using data warehousing software, collecting data from various sources both internally and from external organisations and other councils.

What type of information we collect about you

To assist with fraud investigations we may collect:

  • name
  • contact details (addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses and so on)
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number
  • details of family and household members
  • financial information
  • current employment and employment history
  • identity information (such as passports, driving licences, birth certificates)
  • vehicle information
  • photographs and video footage

For the data warehousing software, we receive monthly data extracts of current personal information from the following areas:

  • Blue Badges
  • Business rates
  • Council Tax
  • Council Tax reduction claims
  • Gateshead Council payroll
  • Gateshead Council pension
  • Electoral roll
  • Housing rents
  • Housing waiting list

The above is used to prevent and detect fraud across these service areas in real time. We are currently reviewing further data extracts and this list will continue to grow.

We may also collect health information, such as evidence of injuries for an insurance claim or evidence to assist investigations into potential Blue Badge fraud or direct payment fraud.

The legislation that allows us to collect this information is:

  • Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013
  • Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014
  • Local Government Finance Act 1992
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000
  • Criminal Procedures and Investigations Act 1996
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
  • Data Protection Act 1998
  • Digital Economy Act 2017
  • Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984
  • Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998
  • Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

The legislation that allows us to prosecute is:

  • Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Detection of Fraud and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013
  • Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act (Power to Require Information) (England) Regulations 2014
  • The Fraud Act 2006
  • Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1987
  • Computer Misuse Act 1990
  • Identity Card Act 2006
  • The Bribery Act 2010
  • Welfare Reform Act 2012
  • Housing Act 1996
  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984
  • Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Our lawful basis to obtain and use your personal information

Lawful basis (Article 6)

  • processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject
  • processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller

Conditions from Article 9

Conditions for processing special category data are known under Article 9.

  • processing is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the obligations and exercising specific rights of the controller or of the data subject in the field of employment and social security and social protection law
  • processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever courts are acting in their judicial capacity
  • processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest

Why we need your information

We need this information to help us prevent, detect and prosecute fraud. We have a duty to protect public money and to maintain strong defences against fraud and corruption by directing resources most effectively to mitigate the risks we face.

We also have to verify the information you have supplied is correct and accurate and, where necessary, we will do this by verifying your information with other councils and government departments.

It is our intention to continue with the existing arrangements and further explore opportunities for data matching. We will do this internally between services and externally with neighbouring councils, developing links with other external agencies to enhance opportunities for information sharing.

Data matching is carried out by the Corporate Fraud Team to assist the corporate framework to help counter any fraudulent activity. The team proactively use council data to help prevent and detect crime.

Who your information can be shared with

Your personal information can be shared if the law allows. We may also enter into specific information-sharing arrangements with partners such as other councils where it would support our statutory functions.

We have data-sharing agreements with:

  • Durham County Council
  • Newcastle City Council

We may also share personal information with (and receive information from) other organisations as part of our prevention and detection of fraud. Such organisations may include the Police, Home Office, Cabinet Office, DWP, registered social landlords and councils. Any information-sharing is managed in accordance with relevant privacy and data protection legislation.

We actively share fraud intelligence between authorities via restricted internet forums and groups. This is critical to raising awareness of rising fraud trends. We receive regular data analysis and fraud information alerts from our memberships.

How long we will keep your information

We regularly review our retention periods of the information we hold about you. We are legally required to hold some types of information to fulfil our statutory obligations. We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as it is necessary for the relevant activity or service that we provide to you, or as required by law.

Type of personal informationRetention period
Data extracts held in internal corporate fraud systemOne month - each month a new data extract is loaded, replacing the previous month's data
National Fraud InitiativeCurrent and previous exercises kept only

Your information rights

Your information rights are set out in the law. Subject to some legal exceptions, you have the right to:

  • request a copy of the personal information the council holds about you
  • have any inaccuracies corrected
  • have your personal data erased
  • place a restriction on our processing of your data
  • object to processing

To exercise your rights, you can contact the data protection team at or call 0191 433 3000.

Report Fraud contact