sportscotland and National Fraud Initiative

sportscotland is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

On behalf of the Auditor General for Scotland, Audit Scotland appoints the auditor to audit the accounts of sportscotland.  Audit Scotland also assists appointed auditors by conducting a National Fraud Initiative, which is a data matching exercise.

Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body.

This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified. Where a match is found it indicates that there may be an inconsistency which requires further investigation. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out.

Audit Scotland currently requires sportscotland to participate in a data matching exercise to assist in the prevention and detection of fraud. We are required to provide particular sets of data to the National Fraud Initiative web-site for matching for each exercise regarding trade creditors and payroll and these are set out in The National Fraud Initiative in Scotland - audit scope | Audit Scotland (

The use of data by Audit Scotland in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority:

From October 2010, under new data matching powers included at Part 2A of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (as amended by Section 97 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010).

Audit Scotland does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 2018.

The Audit Scotland Code of Data Matching Practice (PDF)  includes a summary of the key legislation and controls governing the NFI data matching exercise.

Date published: 3 April 2023
Date updated: 3 April 2023


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