National Fraud Initiative: public-sector data requirements

This guide sets out the core (mandatory) datasets for public-sector bodies to provide to the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).

There are a number of specific data requirements for different parts of the public sector. Find out more about how to submit data securely through the NFI application and about the separate data specifications required for each data set.

General guidance

Public-sector organisations should follow the requirements of the Code of Data Matching Practice 2018. Your Data Protection Officer should be able to provide more information about this.

You may also find the guide Taking part in National Fraud Initiative useful.

Central government

Although not mandatory, central government departments, agencies and arm’s length organisations can submit the following datasets:

  • payroll
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data

Find out more about additional NFI services available to public-sector organisations.

Local government

Where possible, the NFI will collect data in bulk from the relevant organisation. For example, in England, data relating to housing benefit and students eligible for a loan will be collected from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Student Loans Company (SLC) respectively. The NFI will also approach providers of insurance services to provide insurance data on behalf of local authorities. Blue Badge data will be collected centrally from the Blue Badge Digital Service (BBDS).

Please note that:

  • submission of data relating to Personal Alcohol Licence and Market Trader Licence data is optional and, if required, should be submitted through ReCheck, FraudHub or AppCheck (additional fee applies). Council tax and electoral register data is required every year and runs to a separate data submission timetable.
  • data relating to Business Rates and Business Support Grants are mandatory datasets for the 2020/21 exercise.

Councils, unitary authorities and associated bodies

This sets out the core mandatory data (where applicable) for London borough councils, Greater London Authorities and associated bodies, Metropolitan Borough Councils, county councils (including schools), unitary authorities, and district/borough councils (including any arm’s length management organisations and joint committees):

  • payroll
  • pensions
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data
  • housing (current tenants) and right to buy
  • housing waiting lists
  • housing benefits (provided by the DWP)
  • council tax reduction scheme
  • council tax (required annually)
  • electoral register (required annually)
  • students eligible for a loan (provided by the SLC)
  • private supported care home residents
  • transport passes and permits (including residents’ parking, blue badges and concessionary travel)
  • licences – market trader/operator (optional), taxi driver and personal licences to supply alcohol (optional)
  • personal budget (direct payments)

Data should only be provided from agencies where it has been previously authorised by that organisation.

Combined authorities

Submission of payroll and trade creditors standing and payment history data will be mandatory for NFI 2020/21. However, should any additional data be available such as concessionary passes and pensions, this should also be submitted:

  • payroll
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data
  • pensions
  • concessionary passes

Passenger transport and waste authorities

These include passenger transport executives/authorities and waste regulation or disposal authorities. The core datasets are:

  • payroll
  • pensions
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data
  • concessionary travel passes (passenger transport executives only)

Police bodies, fire and civil defence authorities

Core datasets:

  • payroll
  • pensions
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data

Pension authorities

The only core dataset for pension authorities is pensions.

NHS bodies

For the 2016/17 exercise, Foundation Trusts have been added to the list of bodies from whom data is now mandated.

Special health authorities can participate in NFI voluntarily. Find out more about the services that the NFI offers.

If the NHS payroll provider submits data directly to the NFI on behalf of the NHS body, it is the NHS body’s responsibility to ensure that:

  • the payroll provider receives full and timely instructions about this requirement
  • employees are notified in line with privacy notice requirements

The core datasets required are:

  • payroll
  • trade creditors’ payment history and trade creditors’ standing data

The NFI are seeking to source the trade creditors data directly from NHS SBS for Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Pension schemes

The only core (mandatory) dataset for public-sector pension schemes is pensions.

Published 20 March 2015
Last updated 27 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. Page updated to prepare for the NFI 2020-21 exercise following consultation.

  2. Remove reference to 'insurance claimants' - we've stopped processing insurance claimants details. Change 'fair processing requirements' to 'privacy notice requirements' - fair processing is old terminology.

  3. First published.