The National Fraud Initiative
Fraud is a crime, which according to the National Fraud Authority costs the UK £30 billion each year. In the public sector, every pound lost through fraud is potentially a pound taken from taxpayers and the users of essential services, who are often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in society. The Audit Commission runs the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) to help detect fraud, overpayments and errors by data matching every two years.
The last NFI data matching exercise took place in 2008/09 when nationally the total amount of fraud and overpayments identified was £215 million, an increase of 54% from the previous data matching exercise in 2006/07. This means that since its launch in 1996, the NFI matches have enabled the detection of fraud, overpayments and errors totalling £664 million.
The NFI helped to uncover pension frauds and overpayments amounting to £78 million, and £56 million of council tax single person discount that was fraudulently or wrongfully received.
The NFI 2008/09 produced other successful outcomes:
- 181 employees were dismissed or asked to resign because they had no right to work in the UK.
- 269 people were prosecuted.
- 21,534 concessionary travel permits and 16,535 blue badges were cancelled.
- 97 properties were recovered for social housing.
For more information please see the NFI website here.