National Fraud Initiative (NFI)
On 1 April 2015 responsibility for the National Fraud
Initiative (NFI) passed from the Audit Commission to the Cabinet
Office. Future NFI exercises will use the powers given to the
Minister for the Cabinet Office by Part 6 of the Local Audit and
Accountability Act 2014. The existing code of data matching
practice will continue in effect until the Minister for the Cabinet
Office issues a new code.
The code is subject to review following completion of each NFI
exercise. Any changes proposed to the code will be consulted upon
before a new code is finalised and laid before Parliament.
Code of Data Matching Practice
South Staffordshire Council 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
The Cabinet Office is responsible
for carrying out a data matching exercise (the NFI). This exercise
was previously conducted by the Audit Commission.
Data matching involves comparing
computer records held by one body against other computer records
held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is
usually personal information. 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
that requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as
to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an
investigation is carried out.
Staffordshire Council is required to participate
in the NFI data matching exercise to assist in the
prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide
particular sets of data to the Cabinet Office (previously the Audit
Commission), and these are set out in guidance which can be found
The NFI data matching exercise is
carried out under statutory powers bestowed on the Minister for the
Cabinet Officer by Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act
2014. Previous data matching exercises were conducted by the
Audit Commission under Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act
1998. Such exercises do not require the consent of the
individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Data matching under the National Fraud
Initiative is subject to a
Code of Practice.
For further information on the Cabinet
Office's (and previously the Audit Commission's) legal powers and
the reasons why it matches particular information, visit
For further information on data matching at
this authority please do not hesitate to contact us.
Revenues and Benefits Manager
Telephone: (01902) 696622