The Audit Commission is an independent body responsible for promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of public money. Its work covers local government, health, housing, police, probation and fire and rescue services.
It runs the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), a sophisticated data matching exercise that matches electronic data within and between participating bodies to prevent and detect fraud.
Data matching in the NFI involves comparing sets of data, such as the payroll or benefits records of a body, against other records held by the same or another body. This allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.
Where no match is found, the data matching process will have no material impact on those concerned. Where a match is found it may indicate that there is an inconsistency that requires further investigation. In the NFI, participating bodies receive a report of matches that they should follow-up, and investigate where appropriate, to detect instances of fraud, over- or under-payments and other errors, to take remedial action and update their records accordingly.
Reading Borough Council is legally required to provide data in the following areas:
- Pensions payroll
- Trade creditors’ payment history and standing data
- Housing benefits
- Council tax
- Electoral register
- Students eligible for a loan
- Private supported care home residents
- Transport passes and permits (including residents’ parking, blue badges and concessionary travel)
- Insurance claimants
- Licenses - Market trader/operator, Taxi driver, and Personal licences to supply alcohol.
Detailed information on the exercise and the legal safeguards surrounding the collection and use of data is available as part of the NFI Fair Processing Notice.