National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

As an organisation, we’re required by law to protect the public funds we administer.

To prevent and detect fraud, we may share information provided with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland (external link) appoints the auditor to audit our accounts. They’re also responsible for carrying out ‘data matching’ exercises.

About data matching

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.

Including personal data in a data matching exercise doesn’t mean that any specific individual is under suspicion. Where a match is found, it shows that there may be an inconsistency that needs further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

The exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.

How we participate in Audit Scotland data matching exercises

Audit Scotland need us to participate in a data matching exercise every two years to help prevent and detect fraud. We provide particular sets of data to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise. These are set out in Audit Scotland’s instructions.

The exercise next takes place in 2018-2019.

Audit Scotland’s use of data in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, normally under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (external link). Consent of the individuals concerned is not needed under data protection law. Data matching by Audit Scotland is also subject to a Code of Practice.

Visit the Audit Scotland website to read their instructions, privacy notice and Code of Practice (external link).

Alternatively, you can contact our Fraud Liaison Officer Louise Roberts:
Tel: 0131 314 5590

NFI NSS Privacy notice to suppliers 2018 to 2019

Download the NFI NSS Privacy notice to suppliers 2018 to 2019 (Word docx, 13KB)