Cabinet Office

Outcome of Expression of Interest: Invited to apply

The National Fraud Initiative (NFI) is part of Fraud Error and Debt (FED) within Cabinet Office. NFI has developed a fraud prevention solution called ‘AppCheck’ to assist public sector bodies, such as councils, prevent fraud entering their systems at the application stage. Fraud prevention is more cost effective than detection as it reduces the amount of overpayments occurring, and also reduces subsequent investigation and recovery costs.

AppCheck alerts users to possible fraudulent applications as well as positively identifying genuine applications by matching application data against a range of data sources already collected by the NFI biennial batch matching exercise, much of which is also regularly refreshed. AppCheck can improve the customer journey by not holding up their application unnecessarily, as well as flagging potential issues to officials processing applications.

AppCheck is a secure web based digital system that provides search results in real time. For organisations with advanced information technology ability an automated programme interface (API) is available to automate use of AppCheck.

NFI would like to collaborate with councils and Housing Associations to expand the use of AppCheck to prevent more fraud, principally around housing fraud including tenancy subletting, right to buy fraud, housing waiting list and tenancy abandonment.

Discovery evidence

The NFI developed AppCheck as a fraud prevention solution building on engagement with participants in the NFI mandated exercise. This engagement and feedback gained from operating the NFI mandated exercise since 1996 made it apparent that, although there were established ways to detect fraud through data matching, there was a clear need for tools to assist with preventing fraud. 38% of respondents to the 2017 NFI Survey agreed that a fraud prevention solution was important or very important to them.

AppCheck is built using existing architecture from the main NFI exercise so utilises a tried and tested user interface that is recognised and trusted by public sector fraud professionals. The NFI mandated exercise has identified over £1.69 billion in outcomes since it first started, and AppCheck builds on this success to provide bodies with effective tools to both detect and prevent fraud.

Users of AppCheck have trialed the system and found it to be very useful, in particular in preventing and detecting subletting of social housing. During the period since its launch the solution has been developed in an agile manner to best fit the needs of users. You can find case studies in the NFI National Report (page 25).

  • Digital and agile awareness
  • Introduction to delivery management
  • Introduction to product management