Protecting the public purse

National Fraud Initiative

Since 1996 the Audit Commission has run the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), an exercise that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud. This includes police authorities, local probation boards, fire and rescue authorities as well as local councils and a number of private sector bodies.

NFI 2012/13 (NFI national report – June 2014) helped trace almost £203 million in fraud, error and overpayment in England, bringing the UK total since its launch in 1996 to £1.17 billion.

The use of data for NFI purposes continues to be controlled to ensure compliance with data protection and human rights legislation. A revised Code of data matching practice was published and laid before Parliament on 21 July 2008 and replaces the previous Code published by the Commission in 2006.

Public sector

Select your type of organisation:


Private sector

The National Fraud Initiative offers data matching services to organisations in the private sector (or non mandatory participants).

Select your type of organisation:


Bodies in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales should refer to the Northern Ireland Audit Office (external link), Audit Scotland (external link) and Wales Audit Office (external link) websites for further information about participation in the NFI.