What are ‘cookies’?
‘Cookies’ are small text files that are stored by the browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Safari) on your computer or mobile phone. They allow websites to store such things as user preferences. For example, you may not have to enter a user name, address etc. on subsequent visits made from the same computer.
Whenever a person visits our website we collect basic information about their behaviour on our site. This includes things like what pages have been visited and how they found our website. The information we gather for these purposes does not identify anyone and we make no attempt to find out who has been to our site.
We use this information to gain a better understanding of our website and their needs of users so we can improve their online experience.
Cookies set by Third Party sites?
When using our website you may be presented with cookies from third party sites such as MailChimp, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. We do not control the dissemination of these cookies and you should check the relevant third party website for more information about these.
How do I turn cookies off?
These settings can be found in the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu of your browser. In order to understand these settings, the following links may be helpful, otherwise you should use the ‘Help’ option in your browser for more details.
Cookie settings in Internet Explorer
Cookie settings in Firefox
Cookie settings in Chrome
Cookie settings in Safari
Alternatively, you may wish to visit www.aboutcookies.org which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of browsers.
For information on how to do this on the browser of your mobile phone you will need to refer to your handset manual.
Please be aware that restricting cookies may impact on the functionality of many websites.
If you would like to find out more about cookies and their use on the Internet, you may find the following links useful:
Microsoft Cookies guide
All About Cookies
For further legal information about privacy issues, you may find these links useful:
Data Protection Act 1998
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Lochinver House and its employees are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998. As such we are committed to maintaining your privacy in all your interactions with us. Your data will be held on a secure server and access within our company will be limited to those who need to know. You have a right to see any personal information we hold.
Data matching and fraud prevention and detection
Your personal information may be shared internally and with other agencies such as the Cabinet Office, and may be used in data matching exercises, for the prevention and detection of fraud.
How we use your personal information
We are required by law to protect the public funds that we administer. Information provided to us may be shared with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud.
National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
The Cabinet Office is responsible for carrying out the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise which is intended to detect fraudulent and erroneous payments from the public purse. The work is designed to help reduce the level of many types of fraud that can occur including housing benefit, council tax reduction, payroll, pension, licensing and housing tenancy fraud.
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 may require further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.
The Cabinet Office currently requires us to participate in this NFI data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office for matching for each exercise, and these are set out by the Cabinet Offices. This does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. Details of this data matching can be found on the Data specification Gov.uk website.
Once the Cabinet Office has completed the data matching exercise, the results are shared with us, we then investigate any inconsistencies to determine whether there is or has been fraud taking place.
The use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in 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.
Further information on the Cabinet Officer’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information are provided on the Gov.uk website.
Other fraud prevention and detection work
The primary objective of our Counter Fraud strategy is to ensure the prevention of fraud and corrupt acts and to ensure that any instances of these are investigated and dealt with effectively. As part of this strategy we conduct a programme of pro-active counter fraud reviews into transactions and records held across different business areas. They are designed specifically to identify unusual, erroneous or potentially fraudulent transactions.
We may also use information including personal information to prevent and detect fraud in any of our systems and may supply information to credit reference agencies or other external bodies for such purposes. Information held or received may also be used to verify information given for application purposes. We do not require the consent of individuals under the Data Protection Act 1998 to use personal information in this way.
We automatically collect information regarding the IP of visitors to our site. This enables us to monitor and analyse how visitors use the web site and improve the services and information that we provide. This information is never passed on to third parties.
The Privacy Policies and Statements of external organi