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National Fraud Initiative

Scottish Natural Heritage is required to protect public funds and must share certain supplier and employee data to detect fraud.

We are required to take part in the National Fraud Initiative, which involves the auditing of our accounts and data matching. We may have to share information given to us with other bodies that audit or administer public funds.

We must provide specific sets of data for data matching purposes: trade creditor data and payroll data. The first data set relates to the suppliers who do business with us, and the second to the employees who work for us.

Computerised data matching can reveal potentially fraudulent claims and payments. But the inclusion of an individual’s personal data in a data matching exercise doesn’t mean that person is under suspicion.

The exercise can also help to ensure that a body’s records are up to date.

Audit Scotland

Audit Scotland conducts the data matching for the National Fraud Initiative, or it may arrange for another body to conduct the exercise on its behalf. It also appoints the auditor to audit our accounts.

Audit Scotland has statutory authority to use data for data matching purposes, under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The consent of the individuals to which the data relates isn’t required.

Data matching process

  1. Data that we hold is compared against other data that we also hold or which another body holds.
  2. If a match is found, it suggests there may be a discrepancy that should be investigated.
  3. An investigation must be carried out to work out why the discrepancy has occurred – whether because of fraud, error or another reason.

Data matching by Audit Scotland is subject to a code of data matching practice.

Find out more about the National Fraud Initiative on the Audit Scotland website including their privacy notice.

Contact

You can get in touch if you have questions about our role in the National Fraud Initiative.

Mairi Gunn
Financial Accountant
Telephone: 01463 725132
Email: mairi.gunn@nature.scot

Kenny Maclean
Information Security Manager
Telephone: 0131 3162666
Email: kenneth.maclean@nature.scot