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Counter Fraud Privacy Notice

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Your Personal Data - Who we are

We are Preston City Council and your privacy is important to us. We aim for full transparency on how we gather, use, and share your personal information in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

If you have any concerns about how the Council is handling your personal data, these can be raised with the Council's Data Protection Officer:

Preston City Council, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.


We keep our privacy notice under regular review and we will place an updated version on this page.

This will help ensure that you are always aware of what information we collect and how we use it.

What categories of personal information we use

Personal information can be anything that identifies and relates to a living person.

This can include information that when linked with other information, allows a person to be uniquely identified. For example, this could be your name and contact details.

The law treats some types of personal information as 'special' because the information requires more protection due to its sensitivity. This information consists of;

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Sexuality and sexual life
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade Union membership
  • Political opinions
  • Genetic and bio-metric data
  • Physical or mental health
  • Criminal convictions and offences

What we need

We collect or obtain personal data about you which includes personal information such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number(s)
  • Email address
  • Employer details
  • Bank details
  • Household composition
  • Income and expenditure
  • Date of Birth
  • National Insurance Number
  • Nationality
  • Health (Physical/Mental)

Why we need it

The Council uses your personal information in order to carry out activities and obligations associated with counter fraud investigations.

The Council has a statutory duty under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 to establish a clear framework for the proper administration of the authority's financial affairs.

To perform that duty the Section 151 Officer relies, amongst other things, upon the work of Counter Fraud in the prevention and detection of fraud and error in the following areas:

Council TaxTenancy/Housing Fraud
Non-Domestic Rates (Business Rates)Insurance fraud
Housing BenefitEmployee/internal fraud
PayrollGrants fraud
SuppliersMandate fraud

    The legal basis for processing and or sharing your personal information is article 6 (1) (c) and 6 (1) (e) of the General Data Protection Regulation.

    The legal basis for Counter Fraud investigations is set out below:-

    • Local Government Finance Act 1988
    • Local Government Finance Act 1992
    • Non Domestic Rating (Collection and Enforcement) (Local Lists) Regulations 1989
    • The Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 (as amended)
    • Data Protection Act 2018
    • General Data Protection Regulation
    • Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (Part 6)
    • Fraud Act 2006
    • Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013

    If we intend to use your information beyond legal obligations or to exercise specific rights we will seek your consent to process your information.

    What we do with it

    Your personal information will be treated as confidential but it may be shared with other Council services in order to ensure our records are accurate and up-to-date, and to improve the standard of the services we deliver.

    We will only use your information in ways which are permitted by the General Data Protection Regulation and the current UK Data Protection law. We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data.

    More information on this framework can be found on our Data protection and freedom of information.

    This authority has a duty to protect the public funds it administers, and may use information held about you for all lawful purposes, including but not limited to the prevention and detection of crime including fraud and money laundering.

    The Council may also use your information for the purpose of performing any of its statutory enforcement duties. It will make any disclosures required by law and may also share your information with other bodies responsible for detecting/preventing crime.

    The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out data matching exercises. We participate in the Cabinet Office National Fraud Initiative; a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud.

    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 Government and Accountability Act 2014. It does not require consent of the individuals concerned.

    We may be asked to provide access to personal information by relevant authorities with regulatory powers such as the police, government departments and other local authorities for the purposes of the prevention or detection of crime and/or the apprehension or prosecution of offenders without the permission of the data subject.

    The Council will consider such requests on a case by case basis. As a service we do not collect data from the public directly but have access to the systems used across the council to ensure that the highest standards of controls are in place to protect the public purse. Therefore whilst we draw conclusions from personal data, the data used to draw those conclusions is not shared beyond the internal service that shared it with us initially unless otherwise stated above.

    There is also information about your computer hardware and software that is automatically collected by Preston City Council. This information can include:

    • your IP address
    • browser type
    • domain names
    • access times
    • referring Web site addresses

    This information is used by Preston City Council for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of the Preston City Council Website.

    We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes.

    What are your rights

    You have the right to:

    • request a copy of your information (known as a subject access request)
    • request rectification or erasure of your information,
    • request a restriction on the processing of your information, and,
    • object to processing of your information,
    • complain to the Information Commissioner's Office about the way the Council processes your information.
    • set your browser to remove or reject cookies before using Preston City Council website 

    If you require further information about the use of your data or would like to exercise any of the above rights, please contact:

    Data Protection Officer
    Preston City Council
    Town Hall
    Lancaster Road
    PR1 2RL

    Transferring information overseas

    In certain circumstances we may transfer your information to organisations in other countries on the basis that anyone to whom we pass it protects it in the same way we would and in accordance with applicable laws.

    How long we keep your information

    We will keep you information for as long as it is required by us or other regulatory bodies in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements or for other operational reasons. In most cases this will be a minimum of six years.

    More information on our retention schedule can be found online.

    Website information

    Preston City Council encourages you to review the privacy statements of Web sites you choose to link to from Preston City Council so that you can understand how those Web sites collect, use and share your information.

    Preston City Council is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content on Web sites outside of the Preston City Council family of Web sites.

    Use of Cookies

    The Preston City Council Web site use "cookies" to help you personalise your online experience.

    A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Website via your web browser. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

    For more information please refer to our Cookies page.

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