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National Identity Fraud Unit

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the budget was of the National Identity Fraud Unit and its forerunners in each year since 1997; how many staff the unit employed in each year; and what the Government's performance targets were for the unit in each year. (124084)

As a result of organisational and other changes it is not possible to separately identify National Identity Fraud Unit (NIFU) budgets prior to 2006-07. For 2006-07, the budget allocation for NIFU was £508,092.

Information regarding the number of staff employed in NIFU is not available prior to 2003-04. In 2003-04 it employed 24.8 full-time equivalent staff. In both 2004-05 and 2005-06 it employed 19.1 full-time equivalent staff and in 2006-07 it employed 20 full-time equivalent staff.

NIFU did not have separate performance targets prior to 2005-06. The available information is in the following table.

National Identity Fraud Unit performance targetsNumber of arrest packs to be produced1Number of flags to be put on national insurance number accounts22005-065003,6002006-075504,000 Notes: 1. Arrest PacksFrom the documents sent to NIFU for examination and identified as being false/fraudulent, arrest packs containing the document and supporting evidence from the national insurance number (NINO) interview, an initial statement from the document examiner, a visual copy of the anomalies found and all relevant paperwork required by Fraud Investigation Service (Organised) are produced. The pack is then sealed and sent to FIS (O) for consideration of prosecution. 2. Flags Part of NIFU's remit is the protection of NINO accounts. Where NIFU have found a NINO account to be vulnerable or believed to have fraudulent activity occurring on it then an electronic (flag) marker is put onto the account. Any benefit activity on the NINO account is reported within three working days by a reactivation report. This is then passed by NIFU to the relevant office for investigation, or confirmation that the person the NINO account belongs to is actually the person making the claim to the benefit. Source: National Identity Fraud Unit.