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National Fraud Initiative

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is an exercise carried out every two years by the Cabinet Office. It matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to prevent and detect fraud. 

The data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to identify any inconsistencies that need further investigation.

The Cabinet Office requires us to take part in the NFI exercise. The data is used with statutory authority under its powers set out in Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This does not need the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act. 

Data matching by the Cabinet Office is subject to a code of data matching practice.  (opens new window)

We must provide particular sets of data (opens new window) to the Cabinet Officer. This includes personal data for all employees, elected members and pensioners held in our payroll system. 

We are also required to submit personal data of clients and customers administered by us in relation to: 

  • Housing Benefits
  • Council Tax
  • students eligible for a loan
  • housing tenants 
  • housing right to buy
  • housing waiting lists
  • trade creditors' payment history and trade creditors' standing data
  • private supported care home residents
  • personal budgets
  • blue badges
  • residents parking passes
  • concessionary travel passes
  • electoral register
  • insurance claims
  • taxi driver licenses
  • market trader licenses
  • business rates and grant recipients
  • licenses for the supply of alcohol

Sometimes wrong payments are made because of genuine error. Previous exercises have uncovered some underpayments as well as overpayments resulting in increased payments/entitlements. This exercise helps to promote the best use of public funds.

We upload data to the Cabinet Office via a secure website. Only authorised personnel have access to the website. Its password protected and all data is encrypted during transmission.

Contact us

Information Rights Officer
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street

0191 433 3000