The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is a counter-fraud exercise across the UK public sector, led by the Cabinet Office, which aims to prevent and detect fraud. Audit Scotland leads the exercise in Scotland, working with a range of Scottish public bodies and external auditors.
The NFI uses data sharing and matching to help confirm that services and payments are provided to the correct people. An NFI outcome describes the overall amounts for fraud, overpayments and error that are detected by the NFI exercise and an estimate of future losses that it prevents.
This interactive report brings together various exhibits related to the NFI outcomes. The information is provided by sector and broken down by participating body. You can use it to search the data, and to see visualisations.
This interactive report complements the main NFI report, by providing you with extra ways to explore the data.
If you are viewing this site on a mobile device, you may want to rotate your device to landscape orientation. This will let you view the details of the more complex interactive charts and graphs.
This page sets out overall themes and outcomes from the exercise. There are also separate pages where you can also see how NFI outcomes affected different parts of the public sector:
The NFI enables public bodies to use computer data matching techniques to detect fraud and error. It involves comparing computer records held within and between bodies to see how far they match. These matches represent potentially fraudulent claims or payments and are reviewed and investigated by participating bodies. If the bodies identify fraud, overpayments or errors, they record them as outcomes of the exercise.
The main categories of fraud, overpayments and errors investigated in the exercise include:
|Category||Details||Key aim of data matching|
|Council tax single person discounts||People living on their own, or with no countable adults in the household, are eligible for a 25 per cent single person discount (SPD) on their council tax bill.||Incorrectly awarded SPDs are identified and stopped.|
|Blue badge parking scheme||The blue badge parking scheme allows people with mobility problems to gain parking concessions for on-street parking, allowing them to park close to where they need to go.||Blue badge holders who have died are identified, allowing their blue badge to be cancelled.|
|Pensions||Pensions are paid by various pension schemes for those qualified.||Pensioners who have died are identified allowing pension schemes to stop pension payments.|
|Housing benefit||Housing benefit helps people on low incomes pay their rent.||Individuals inappropriately claiming housing benefit are identified and payments stopped.|
|Housing Tenancy||Social housing provides affordable accommodation, allocated according to need. It is owned and managed by public authorities (mainly councils) and housing associations (registered social landlords).||Tenants who have died or have sub-let their property are identified to allow recovery of the property. Social housing provides affordable accommodation, allocated according to need. It is owned and managed by public authorities (mainly councils) and housing associations (registered social landlords) to allow recovery of the property.|
|Council tax reduction scheme||Council tax reduction scheme helps those on low incomes to pay their council tax bills.||Individuals inappropriately claiming council tax reduction are identified and the reduction removed from the council tax account.|
|Social housing waiting lists||Social housing provides affordable accommodation, allocated according to need. It is owned and managed by public authorities (mainly councils) and housing associations (registered social landlords).||Ineligible applicants for social housing are identified and removed from the waiting list.|
|Creditor payments||A creditor is a person or an organisation that a public body pays money to for a good or service.||Duplicated creditor payments are identified and recovered.|
|Payroll||This is the earned income paid by public bodies to their employees.||Employees working illegally or working for one organisation whilst absent due to illness from a separate organisation are identified to allow action to be taken by the appropriate body.|
We can show how the total savings found break down into all of the available categories:
The 2020/21 NFI exercise has identified outcomes valued at £14.9 million (see page 4 of the main report).
The cumulative outcomes from the NFI in Scotland since 2006/07 are now £158.5 million. Across the UK, the cumulative total of NFI outcomes are now £2.4 billion.
Here is how the savings break down by sector (local government, central government, NHS Scotland, and colleges):