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 detect fraud.

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.

South 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 at National Fraud Initiative

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 General Data Protection Regulations 2018.

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 Fair Processing Level 3.

For further information on data matching at this authority please do not hesitate to contact us.

Key NFI Contact

Jamie Phillips

Telephone: (01902) 696635

Email: J.Phillips@sstaffs.gov.uk

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