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Here you will find information about the range of counter-fraud work that Audit Scotland is involved in as well as signposts to other organisations with an interest in this area.

As public finances continue to tighten and the number of people working in the public sector reduces, there is a risk that controls set up in public bodies to combat fraudulent activity, corruption and error are compromised. This can result in the loss of public money and affect our public services. Read more about Audit Scotland's work and the partners we work with in Angela Canning's blog.

Raising a concern about fraud or corruption

If you believe that there is fraudulent activity going on in a Scottish public body, you can find out how to tell us and share your information with us here, or you may wish to report your concerns directly to the police.

National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) in Scotland is a counter-fraud exercise led by Audit Scotland, and overseen by the Cabinet Office for the UK as a whole. It uses computerised techniques to compare information about individuals held by different public bodies, and on different financial systems that might suggest the existence of fraud or error. It means that public bodies can take action if any fraud or error has taken place, and it allows auditors to assess fraud prevention arrangements which those bodies have.

The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland 2016/17

Published in July 2018, the latest report identified nearly £19 million of fraud and error across the public sector.

Case study: East Dunbartonshire Council

The Cabinet Office has published a case study illustrating how the council used the NFI's AppCheck to verify information submitted in applications across its departments.

 Download the case study - PDF 1.7Mb

Our animation explains some of the key facts from the report.


National Fraud Initiative outcomes 2016/17

The 2016/17 Scottish NFI outcomes are derived from the 2016/17 NFI exercise and late outcomes from the 2014/15 NFI exercise. Detailed data from the 2016/17 exercise can be downloaded below.

 NFI outcomes 2016/17 - XLS 181Kb

Areas which generated NFI outcomes


Information for the 2018/19 National Fraud Initiative exercise

Instructions for participants 2018/19Published August 2018

The 2018/19 instructions include important guidance and instructions for participating bodies including data requirements, data specifications and the 2018/19 timetable. It will be regularly updated throughout the exercise.

 Instructions for participants - PDF 482Kb

 Instructions for participants (text only) - RTF 150Kb

Participants in the National Fraud Initiative 2018/19Published September 2018

This details the Scottish bodies participating in the 2018/19 exercise in Scotland.

 2018/19 participants in Scotland - PDF 90Kb

 2018/19 participants in Scotland - RTF 26Kb

Privacy noticePublished June 2018

This broader description forms part of the privacy notice for individuals whose information is submitted to Audit Scotland for the purpose of the National Fraud Initiative in Scotland.

 Privacy notice - PDF 115Kb

 Privacy notice (text only) - RTF 34Kb

Code of data matching practice 2018Published September 2018

This Code of data matching practice was issued on 28 September 2018 under Section 26F of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (as amended).

 Code of data matching practice 2018 - PDF 620Kb

 Code of data matching practice 2018 (text only) - RTF 79Kb

Self-appraisal checklistPublished March 2018

This document contains a two-part checklist that we encourage all participating bodies to use to self-appraise their involvement in the NFI. Part A is designed to assist audit committee members and Part B is for officers involved in the NFI exercise.

Some suggestions for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of reviewing and investigating NFI matches are also included.

 National Fraud Initiative - Self-appraisal checklist  - PDF 420Kb


National Fraud Initiative contact details

The NFI in Scotland is overseen by Audit Scotland. Our phone number for all NFI enquiries is: 0131 625 1500.

Information about the UK NFI exercise can be found on the Cabinet Office’s website at www.gov.uk/government/collections/national-fraud-initiative.

Bodies participating in NFI in Scotland should note that they can update their contact details via the 2016/17 NFI secure website or by sending an email to nfiqueries@cabinetoffice.gov.uk.

Other work we do

Safeguarding public money

Safeguarding public money: are you getting it right?

The Accounts Commission has produced this report as part of its 'How councils work' series for councillors. It includes checklists to help them make sure their councils’ money is being safeguarded.

 Download the report on safeguarding public money - PDF 2.1Mb

Fraud and irregularity report

Fraud and irregularity report 2017/18

This report provides a summary of the cases of fraud and other irregularities at public bodies reported by external auditors for the financial year 2017/18.

 Download fraud and irregularity report - PDF 503Kb

NFI presentations


We regularly give presentations about the National Fraud Initiative and our work. The presentation below was made to CIPFA.

 Download NFI presentation - PPT 1.3Mb

Dundee City Council report

Dundee City Council: Report on significant fraud

Our report on the 2016/17 audit of Dundee City Council found that a £1 million fraud perpetrated at Dundee City Council from 2009-2016 was the result of failures in fundamental controls within the council’s financial systems.

Auditor's role in fraud and money laundering

Auditors' responsibilities relating to fraud

This International Standard on Auditing, published by the Financial Reporting Council in July 2017, deals with auditors’ responsibilities relating to fraud in an audit of financial statements.

 Auditors' responsibilities relating to fraud - PDF 326Kb

Code of audit practice

Code of audit practice

Our Code of audit practice sets the framework for public audit in Scotland, and outlines the responsibilities of external auditors appointed by the Auditor General for Scotland and the Accounts Commission. This includes auditors' responsibilities regarding fraud.

Working with NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services

We work with NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services (CFS) in the deterrence, prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities in NHS Scotland and other public bodies where CFS provides counter fraud services. The memorandum of understanding below outlines how we work together.

 NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services - Memorandum of understanding - PDF 148Kb

NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services


Protecting public resources in Scotland

Produced by the Scottish Government in 2015, this sets out a strategic approach to fighting fraud and error across the public sector in Scotland.

 Protecting public resources in Scotland - PDF 268Kb

Cabinet Office Behavioural Insights Team paper on fraud, error and debt

The Behavioural Insights Team uses behavioural science to make public services more cost-effective and easier to use.Their paper on fraud, error and debt sets out some of the most effective actions which public bodies can take to reduce fraud, error and debt.

Other bodies

Cross-Sector Counter Fraud Forum

The objectives of this forum are to share counter fraud intelligence and promote opportunities for joint working across all sectors in Scotland. It also looks at how counter fraud best practice can be disseminated to public sector organisations in Scotland.

The Counter Fraud Maturity Model provides guidance on how mature your counter fraud controls are.

NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services

NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services deals with the prevention, detection and investigation of fraud, embezzlement, theft, corruption and other irregularities against NHSScotland.

Police Scotland

The Police Scotland website includes information about different types of fraud, advice on how to avoid becoming a victim and contact details for reporting a fraud to the police.