SPPA and the National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is a UK-wide initiative overseen by the Cabinet Office. In Scotland, the initiative is coordinated by Audit Scotland and involves a wide range of public bodies and external auditors, including SPPA.

The NFI focuses on the detection and prevention of error and fraud with a view to reducing the impact these can have on public finances.

At July 2018, the NFI in Scotland had saved over £129 million since 2006/07, which represents a significant saving, particularly at a time when public finances have been under pressure.

As part of its operations, the NFI uses computerised techniques to compare information about individuals held by different public bodies and on different financial systems. This helps to identify circumstances (matches) that require further investigation to determine whether a fraud or error has taken place.

The NFI provides SPPA with an efficient and effective way of checking that we only pay people who are alive and not pensioners whose deaths haven’t been reported. We can also check details of pensioners whose return to employment should have resulted in their pension being reduced or stopped.

If fraud or error has taken place we can stop payments and attempt to recover the amounts involved.

Further information about the NFI exercise in Scotland can be found on the Audit Scotland website. Alternatively, for NFI enquiries, call 0131 625 1500.

Information about the UK NFI exercise can be found on the Cabinet Office website.

To find details of how personal data is submitted and used by the NFI in Scotland, see the Audit Scotland NFI privacy notices.

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