Other data matching
As well as the National Fraud Initiative, the City of Stoke-on-Trent also participates in a nationwide data-matching programme called the Housing Benefit Matching Service (HBMS). This is a mandatory function for all local authorities in order to help to prevent and detect fraud and is administered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The scheme allows the council to identify discrepancies between its housing and council tax records against those held by the DWP such as Income Support, Job Seekers' Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Pension Credits etc. This information may also be supplied to Experian, a credit reference agency and any subsequent investigations could possibly include checks on undeclared cohabiters. These matches are carried out on a monthly basis.
The council may also conduct its own data-matching initiatives on a pro-active basis, again for the prevention and detection of fraud as well as for the assessment or collection of any tax or duty or in connection with legal proceedings.
Council data held by departments such as revenues and benefits, council tax, housing, insurance, creditors and payroll may be cross-referenced with records held internally or by credit reference agencies, housing associations, Government departments, other local authorities and enforcement agencies.
For further information on data matching at this authority email firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01782 236800.