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Data matching

Annual Report

Purpose
: To confirm the validity of birth certificates used by clients when applying for financial assistance, and to verify that clients are not on the NZ Deaths' Register.

BDM disclosure to MSD: BDM provides birth and death information covering the period of 90 years prior to the extraction date.

The birth details include the full name, gender, birth date and place, birth registration number and full name of both mother and father. The death details include the full name, gender, birth date, death date, home address, death registration number and spouse's full name.

Compliance:  Compliant.

Technical information 

Information matching provision Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1995, s.78A
Year authorised 2001
Year commenced 2007
Programme type Auditing data quality
Detecting illegal behaviour
Unique identifiers Birth and Death Registration numbers

System description
Each quarter, BDM provides MSD with an encrypted CD of birth and death records for the 90 years prior to the extract date. The birth details include the full name, gender, birth date and place, birth registration number, and full name of both mother and father. The death details include the full name, gender, birth date, death date, home address, death registration number, and spouse's full name.

Every day MSD compares these birth and death records with copies of MSD client records, held in their data warehouse, for clients who have been granted financial assistance the previous day.

The matching process produces positive matches that are weighted to indicate the probability that an MSD client is the person on the births or deaths registers. The birth records of interest which signal possible fraud are those that do not match. Conversely, the death records of interest which signal possible fraud are those which do match a record of an applicant.

Where an exact birth record match occurs, the Social Welfare Number (SWN) and Birth Record Number (BRN) are added to a register so that those records are excluded from future matching cycles. Where a partial match or no match occurs, those records are transferred from the data warehouse into a separate database in which MSD staff manually scrutinise and verify each record.

If MSD finds any difference between information on the birth record and the information it holds it sends a letter to individuals explaining that their MSD record has been updated. Any difference that involves a change in an individual's benefit eligibility results in a notice of adverse action (s.103 notice) being sent.

MSD also operate the weekly MSD (Deaths)/MSD Deceased Persons programme to identify current clients who have died so that MSD can cease making payments in a timely manner.

Recent activity 

Core results 2011/12   2012/13 2013/14  2014/15 2015/16
Benefit applications processed 351,897 298,382 276,124 263,052 251,330
Possible matches identified 21,154 13,278 6,571 5,545 6,341
Legitimate cases 1,650 966 1,540 1,742 1,483
Notices of possible adverse action 50  23  20 14 7
Challenges 0  0 0 0
Overpayments established 0  0  0 0 0

Between November 2008 and May 2009, MSD ran a one-off historical data match to identify cases of significant fraud where superannuation payments were continuing to be paid to relatives of the deceased. The following is a summary of the historic match results.

Date range of death records

1 January 1984 – 12 December 2007

Records received for matching

654,906

Suspected fraud cases progressed

34

Challenges received

1

Successful challenges

1 (client still alive)

Overpayments established

33

Value of overpayments established

$3,048,038

Of the 33 cases, 10 were found to be non-fraudulent and 95% of the money overpaid for those cases has been recovered from the bank account or the estate of the deceased. Criminal charges were laid against 16 of the 33, with the remaining seven cases not prosecuted because of insufficient evidence or the individual responsible is now deceased.