On 1 October 2020 Open Ownership held our second technology showcase – an online webinar hosting talks by speakers from government, civil society, and the private sector – demonstrating technology working with beneficial ownership data. Featuring speakers from Companies House, Denmark’s CVR, UNODC, GLEIF, the EITI, and Directorio Legislativo, we discussed projects ranging from international identifiers to anti-money laundering (AML) tools and national company registers.
The session was recorded and we are pleased to share the video for those who could not make it:
We had two main themes this time around: national registers serving free, open data and AML tools. We approached these from several different angles. Steve Bowen from the UK’s Companies House discussed their hosting infrastructure and the history of their initial move to Amazon’s Cloud services, followed by their subsequent shift to the London region because of Brexit. Peter Niebling from Denmark’s CVR then explained the impact of their equivalent move from a packaged data seller to a free public source of open data.
We found both of these talks very interesting as they each highlighted some of the unexpected benefits of offering free public data, and made the scale of such systems more comprehensible.
On the AML front, GLEIF gave an introduction to their system for uniquely identifying legal entities and demonstrated how their data on entity structures can help in AML investigations. Antoine Karam from UNODC then gave us another view on these investigations with a talk about their goAML product, used by Financial Investigation Units around the world. His insights into the potential future of collaborative investigations were extremely valuable.
Finally, Catherine Greene and Noel Alonso-Murray from the EITI and Directorio Legislativo gave us a preview of the anti-corruption tool they have been building for the IMF iLab competition. They did not mention it in their talk, but the live pitch event for this competition is happening on 7 October, 10:15am – 12:00pm EST; Catherine and Noel will officially pitch their project for the IMF’s continued support then, and you can vote to help them succeed. We think this project is a great example of the potential in linking different transparency disclosures together to uncover corruption.
Do let us know if you have any feedback on the event!
Steve talked about Companies House’s cloud hosting journey and the lessons they have learned along the way. Companies House is responsible for the UK’s company and beneficial ownership registers.
Peter talked about the development of Denmark’s Centrale Virksomhedsregister, the company, and the beneficial ownership register. In particular, he talked about how they made the switch to offering open data, free of charge, and the impact this had on their technical services.
Xue and Burcu gave a brief introduction to the Global LEI System, how the legal entity relationship data is collected via LEI, and how the LEI can be used within AML/KYC processes.
Antoine presented UNODC’s goAML anti-money laundering system - a fully integrated software solution developed specifically for use by Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), which is one of UNODC’s strategic responses to financial crime, including money-laundering and terrorist financing.
Catherine and Noel talked about their work for the recent IMF Anti-Corruption challenge, finding corruption risks by linking financial asset disclosures to beneficial ownership and contracts in the extractives sector.
Watch the live pitch event. where Catherine and Noel will officially pitch their project for the IMF’s support and where you can vote to help them succeed.