National Fraud Initiative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) has statutory powers to conduct data matching exercises for the purpose of assisting in the prevention and detection of fraud. The powers are contained in Articles 4A to 4H of the Audit and Accountability (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 as inserted by the Serious Crime Act 2007.
What is Data Matching?
Data matching 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 indicates that there may be an inconsistency that requires further investigation.
Code of Data Matching
The use of data for data matching purposes is governed by the C&AG’s Code of Data Matching Practice, the purpose of which is to help ensure that the C&AG, the Northern Ireland Audit Office, and all persons and bodies involved in data matching exercises comply with the law, especially the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 and to promote good practice in data matching. The Code was prepared in consultation with the Information Commissioner and other stakeholders and was laid by the Department of Finance and Personnel before the Assembly on 25 July 2008.
This link will take you to a copy of the Code of Data Matching
Other key Documents
NIAO's report on the most recent NFI exercise undertake in Northern Ireland can be read at:
For further Information, please contact the NIAO NFI Co-ordinators
Patrick O'Neill Tel: 02890 251023
Valerie Evans Tel: 028 90251062