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National Fraud Initiative Scotland

National Fraud Initiative Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It must share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit the HES accounts. Audit Scotland also assists appointed auditors by conducting a National Fraud Initiative, which is a data matching exercise.

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 includes personal information and information on our Suppliers. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified but the inclusion of personal data within a data matching exercise does not mean that any specific individual is under suspicion. 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. The exercise can also help bodies to ensure that their records are up to date.

Audit Scotland currently requires HES to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. HES is required to provide particular sets of data to Audit Scotland for matching for each exercise, and these are set out in Audit Scotland’s Instructions (or handbook).

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority, normally under its powers in Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.

Audit Scotland does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a Code of Data Matching Practice.

For further information on Audit Scotland’s legal powers and the reasons why it matches particular information, see the full text (Level 3) fair processing notice (pdf).

HES is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office as a Data Controller: Reference (ZA143443).


Keith Downie
Head of Procurement
Longmore House
Salisbury Place

Telephone: 0131 668 8860
Email: keith.downie@hes.scot