The government recently updated its financial reporting guidance, requiring government bodies to make an evidence-based estimate of the extent of fraud and error in the material support and distribution schemes they administer.

Good financial reporting on fraud and error should help focus efforts to achieve efficiency savings in government expenditure and income. But many areas of government find it challenging to do more detailed assessments. We reported in March 2023 that most areas outside tax and welfare do not have a proper understanding of their fraud risks, or proportionate resources to robustly measure their exposure.


We are developing a guide for practitioners in government finance and counter-fraud teams to help them understand good practice in fraud and error reporting.

The guide will:

  • set out the landscape of reporting requirements and current practice across government
  • recommend practical ways for government bodies to improve the transparency and usefulness of their fraud and error disclosures
  • identify common challenges and the barriers to better, more widespread disclosure of fraud and error across the whole of government – and suggest ways to overcome them

Our good practice will complement existing guidance set out by HM Treasury and the Government Counter Fraud Function.

We will consult with departments, government bodies and other stakeholders to develop our thinking and gather insights.

NAO Team

Director: Joshua Reddaway
Audit Manager: James Ball