Fraud and Whistleblowing


Managing Public Money Northern Ireland requires all NICS Departments to report immediately to the C&AG (and to the Department of Finance) all proven, suspected and attempted frauds affecting them or the Agencies and NDPBs sponsored by them – Annex A.4.7 Managing Public Money NI.  The C&AG maintains a small counter fraud unit which records and monitors notified frauds, and provides fraud-related advice and guidance, both internally and to the wider public sector.

The C&AG has published a good practice guide on managing fraud risk.  The guide includes self-assessment checklists for use by organisations in assessing their counter fraud arrangements:

Managing Fraud Risk in a Changing Environment: A Good Practice Guide

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.

More information and contact details.


How to raise a concern

If you have concerns about the use of taxpayers’ or ratepayers’ money which you wish to raise with the NIAO, you are encouraged to contact us.  We welcome such approaches from public sector employees, members of the public, contractors, councillors and other third parties.  Any concerns will, if you wish, be treated in confidence.  

What concerns can NIAO deal with?

You may raise concerns with the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) about:

  • the proper conduct of public business
  • value for money; and
  • fraud and corruption

in relation to the provision of centrally funded public services and health services.

You may raise concerns with the Local Government Auditor (LGA) about:

  •  the proper conduct of public business
  • value for money; and
  • fraud and corruption

in relation to district councils, joint committees, the Northern Ireland Local Government Officers’ Superannuation Committee and the Local Government Staff Commission for Northern Ireland.

More information and contact details

The C&AG, in conjunction with the other public audit agencies, has published a good practice guide on whistleblowing:

Whistleblowing in the Public Sector: A Good Practice Guide for Workers and Employers