National Fraud Initiative

The SPPA 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.

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland is a counter-fraud exercise led by Audit Scotland and 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.

Where a match is found it indicates 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.

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.

National Fraud Initiative (NFI) – fair processing notice

This broader description forms part of the fair processing notice for individuals whose information is submitted to Audit Scotland for the purpose of the NFI in Scotland.

Link to Scottish Government Website