Ceredigion County 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 or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Auditor General for Wales (the Auditor General) audits the accounts of Ceredigion County Council. He is also 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.

The Auditor General currently requires Ceredigion County Council 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 Auditor General for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Wales Audit Office guidance, which can be found at https://www.wao.gov.uk/our-work/national-fraud-initiative

The Auditor General conducts data matching exercises under his statutory powers in the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004 (the 2004 Act).

Data matching by the Audit General is subject to a Code of Practice. This may be found at www.audit.wales.

For further information on the Auditor General's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the website above, or contact Wales Audit Office, 24 Cathedral Road Cardiff CF11 9LJ. Email: nfi@audit.wales