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National fraud initiative

The Audit Commission has run the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against any 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 requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out

The Audit Commission currently requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the Audit Commission for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in the Audit Commission’s guidance.

The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998 but is subject to a Code of Practice.

For further information on the Audit Commission’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information

Local government transparency

The local government transparency code requires us to publish the following information relating to fraud:

  • Total number (absolute and full time equivalent) of employees undertaking investigations and prosecutions of fraud
  • Total number of fraud cases investigated - Number of investigations in 2014/15
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