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The National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland is a counter-fraud exercise led by Audit Scotland, assisted by the Audit Commission (our sister organisation in England). It uses computerised techniques to compare information about individuals held by different public bodies, and on different financial systems, to identify circumstances (matches) that might suggest the existence of fraud or error.

The NFI allows:

  • public bodies to investigate these matches and, if fraud or error has taken place, to stop payments and attempt to recover the amounts involved;
  • auditors to assess the arrangements that the bodies have put in place to prevent and detect fraud, including how they approach the NFI exercise itself.

This page contains links to a range of documents about the NFI in Scotland that can be downloaded by the public and by audited bodies.

Contact details

The NFI in Scotland is overseen by the Audit Strategy Group in Audit Scotland. Contact points are Russell Frith, Assistant Auditor General rfrith@audit-scotland.gov.uk and Owen Smith, Senior Manager (Audit Strategy and NFI) osmith@audit-scotland.gov.uk, or telephone 0845 146 1010.

Information about the UK NFI exercise can be found on the Audit Commission’s website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/nfi.

Bodies participating in NFI in Scotland should note that they can update their contact details via the 2010/11 NFI secure website or by sending an email to nationalfraudinitiative@nfi.gov.uk.

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland 2012/13 - Instructions for participants

First published September 2012

The 2012/13 instructions include important guidance and instructions for participating bodies including data requirements, data specifications and the 2012/13 timetable. It will be regularly updated throughout the exercise.

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland

Published 31 May 2012

A national detection exercise by Audit Scotland and other public bodies has identified fraud and error overpayments, savings and other outcomes worth almost £20 million.

Code of data matching practice – 2010

Published 12 November 2010

This Code of data matching practice was issued on 12 November 2010 under Section 26F of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (as amended).

The National Fraud Initiative – privacy notice (formerly fair processing notice)

First published June 2008, (last revised in September 2012)

This broader description forms part of the privacy notice for individuals whose information is submitted to Audit Scotland for the purpose of the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland.

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland 2008/09

20 May 2010 for the Auditor General / Accounts Commission

A further £21 million of outcomes have been identified following Audit Scotland's third biennial national fraud detection exercise. The exercise involves Audit Scotland working with a range of public bodies in Scotland and the Audit Commission in England, (who match the data for the exercise on our behalf).

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland 2006/07

15 May 2008 for the Auditor General / Accounts Commission

Almost £10 million worth of fraud and errors have been identified following a national detection exercise by Audit Scotland working together with other public bodies.

No hiding place: the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland

Published on 17 May 2006 for the Auditor General / Accounts Commission

Scotland’s councils have worked with other public bodies to identify £15m worth of fraud and errors in a national detection exercise.