Data matching and data sharing

Cabinet Office

This authority 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 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, 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, as detailed at​.

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 a Code of Practice. A copy of the Code may be found at:

For further information on the Cabinet Office's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information please visit:

Internal market information system

If you make any application online which is processed and regulated by the Council it may fall within the scope of the EU Services Directive. If that is the case we may use your details provided in the application to help us process the application using the IMI System (Internal Market Information System).

The IMI is a web based portal developed by the EU Commission. It allows authorities to share information in a secure way and complies with data protection legislation. IMI will only be used to exchange information regarding service providers who are within the scope of the directive. Information provided will be deleted from the system 6 months after the closure of the request.

When a request is sent or received authorities will need to show a good reason for asking or sharing requests. Only authorities genuinely involved in the request for information will be able to see the information supplied. If we were to supply sensitive data using the IMI such as criminal sanctions we will notify you that this has happened.

For further information on data matching or data sharing at this authority please email the Council’s Corporate Information Manager:

Or write to:

Corporate Information Manager
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
Harlow, Essex
CM20 1WG