National Fraud Initiative (NFI)

This authority is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of this authority. Audit Scotland also assists appointed auditors by conducting a National Fraud Initiative, which is a data matching exercise.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body.

This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there may be 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.

Audit Scotland 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 Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in Audit Scotland’s Instructions which can be found at their website.

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out under statutory powers added to the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland ) Act 2000 by Section 97 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.

Audit Scotland does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Data Matching Practice. This may also be found at Audit Scotland's website. 

For further information on Audit Scotland’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the full text (Level 3) fair processing notice on their website or contact the Benefits Section.

Contact Information

Benefits Section
PO BOX 13
John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA1 1BY
Telephone: 01563 554400
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