The purpose of the Code is to explain the data matching work the NFI does and to give guidance to Cabinet Office and its staff, auditors and persons and bodies involved in data matching exercises on the law, especially the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, and to promote good practice in data matching. However, it is incumbent on all participants of the NFI to ensure their own procedures when participating are complaint with the law as amended from time to time.
The code of data matching practice was published and laid before Parliament on 21 July 2008. It replaced the previous code published by the Audit Commission in 2006.
Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 requires the Cabinet Office to prepare and keep under review a code of practice to govern its data matching exercises, and to consult with the Information Commissioner and others over it before approving and laying it before Parliament.