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How we may use your personal information

Our claim forms for Housing Benefit, Local Council Tax Reduction and various Council Tax forms explain that the details our customers tell us are confidential and are used for the administration of Housing Benefit, Local Council Tax Reduction and billing of Council Tax.

Your personal information will be held and used in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The Act means we must not give out details about you except when we need to do so to calculate your claim and/or correctly bill you for Council Tax. More information is available in our 'Providing and Protecting Information'| page. 

However, the law also states that we (Bournemouth Borough Council) must protect the public funds we handle; and we may lawfully share information that is given to us with other Public Sector agencies and other organisations that inspect or handle public funds or obtain information from them, to:

  • prevent or detect benefit fraud and any other crime;
  • ensure the information we hold is accurate;
  • recover monies that you owe us;
  • to support national fraud initiatives.

Examples of other Public Sector agencies and other organisations are the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue & Customs, other Local Authorities, the Audit Commission, Communities & Local Government (Supporting People Initiative), credit reference agencies and Enforcement Agents (we may share information with Enforcement Agents and debt collection agencies).

The Audit Commission appoints an auditor who checks the council's accounts. The Audit Commission is also responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. Data matching is comparing computer records held by one organisation with other computer records held by the same or different organisation. This is usually personal information.

Computerised data matching allows us to identify claims and payments that may be fraudulent. A match means that there is an inconsistency between the two sets of records that needs investigating. The inconsistency may be because of fraud, error or another explanation. We cannot decide which until we investigate.

The council's Fraud Investigation team investigates inconsistencies discovered by data matching as well as allegations of fraud from other sources.

The council is required by law to give information to the Audit Commission for data matching exercises. You can find out more about the kinds of data the Audit Commission require in their guidance at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi|.

The law says that the Audit Commission has legal powers to use data in data matching exercises and that it does not have to get the agreement of the people whose details are being matched.

There is a code of practice for data matching by the Audit Commission at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi|.

We may also use certain information about you, e.g. name and address, in other areas of service provision for:

  • maintaining the electoral roll;
  • licensing private rented properties;
  • helping you to access our services more easily;
  • promoting the more efficient and cost-effective delivery of services.

We may also share information with a credit reference agency to prevent and detect fraud.  Investigations into fraud may include checks on whether you are living with a partner you have not told us about.

We will not give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes, unless the law allows us to.

Find out more information about the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act|

Related Information

 

Postal Address Revenue & Benefits,
St Stephens Road, Bournemouth, Dorset
BH2 6DY
Telephone - General Enquiries General Enquiries
01202 451597
Telephone - Council Tax Recovery Council Tax Recovery
01202 451596
Telephone - 24hr Debit/Credit Card Payments 24hr Debit/Credit Card Payments
01202 454748
Email Revenue & Benefits
Email Council Tax
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