The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland is a counter-fraud exercise led by Audit Scotland, assisted by the Audit Commission. 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.
This is one of the ways in which Audit Scotland and the Audit Commission meets their responsibility of promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public money.
Each year Audit Scotland, the body which appoints the auditor for the National Library of Scotland's accounts, requests the Library's participation in the data matching exercise.
Data matching suppliers' information
The NFI covers suppliers' information and will include personal data.
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 use of this data by Audit Scotland is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Section 26A-D of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (as inserted by Section 97 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010).
The Audit Commission data matching is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998.
Neither Audit Scotland nor the Audit Commission requires the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018. Data matching by Audit Scotland and the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice.
For further information on data matching at the National Library of Scotland, please email Neil Utterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links to more information
- The National Fraud Initiative
- The Audit Commission gives guidance on the data sets required and the data matching exercises — see National Fraud Initiative (NFI) — Audit Commission
- Code of data matching practice — Audit Commission
- For further information on the Audit Commission's legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see Fair processing — Audit Commission