That is a good point, and then the Council has to explain in its public interest test that it has loads of credit card fraud, thus its concern for this prevention of crime. To avoid disclosing the fact that its senior officers have corporate credit cards the council has to admit that you have credit card fraud, which is not a great message. The Bexley decision was based upon the police turning up and providing a load of crime stats to demonstrate that this was happenning and would likely happen in Bexley should the empty property information be disclosed.
For a council to use this exemption they will have to provide evidence in their PIT. Moreover, it will raise questions with Internal Audit who have the responsibility for implementing counter fraud strategies wthin a council or an organisation.
On the whole, I do not think the public interest test needd for s.31 (1) (a) is going to be met in this instance especially given that the cards were first issued years ago and fraud issues, should they have occurred, will have been addressed and strong safeguards (should) will be in place before the cards are issued.
My brief experience with these cards at a previous council was that the bills, when they came back, were scrutinized very closely and the slightest whiff of anything untoward or unexplained was immediately questioned. The authorising process to get the card used in the first instance required a second person to approve the purchase.
If you are worried about the information being used to commit a crime, isn't the law enforcement s31 (1) (a) exemption also arguably appropriate here as well as s40 personal data? Disclosure likely to prejudice
the prevention of crime.
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