Open Ownership (OO) believes that information on the true owners of companies is an essential part of a well-functioning economy and society. Public registers of beneficial owners give access to high-quality data about who owns, controls, and benefits from companies and their profits. This information, known as beneficial ownership transparency (BOT), helps tackle corruption, reduce investment risk, and improve national and global governance.
OO helps countries generate high quality data on company ownership that complies with international standards and meets the needs of data users across government, civil society, and the private sector. OO supports people and organisations to use this data to build trust as well as reducing corruption and tax evasion.
Since 2017, OO has worked with almost 40 countries to advance implementation of beneficial ownership reforms, as well as supporting the creation of over 15 new central and sectoral registers. OO has developed the world’s leading data standard for beneficial ownership information, co-founded the international Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group, and built the world’s first transnational public beneficial ownership register.
Based across five continents, OO’s team of policy and technical experts works on three key areas:
Technical assistance to implement beneficial ownership transparency
OO provides targeted support and quality assurance throughout each stage of the BOT implementation process. Working directly with national government agencies that are responsible for implementation, OO engages holistically with local and international stakeholders across and outside of government to ensure that reforms are well understood and supported, and that they respond to the needs of data users.
The OO team provides a range of support for implementers, including: developing and reviewing legislation and regulations; developing forms and business processes to collect data; designing and building technical systems to store and publish data; and analysing and using the resulting data. OO also works with implementers to support the creation of full economy central beneficial ownership registers as well as those for specific sectors such as extractives and procurement.
Technology and capacity to use beneficial ownership data
OO works with governments, civil society, and companies to develop technology that uses beneficial ownership data to actively reduce corruption risks and improve governance. OO has developed the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS), which enables the publication of structured, linkable beneficial ownership data, as well as the Global Open Ownership Register, which uses real world beneficial ownership data for nearly 8 million companies and allows for public analysis and interrogation of the data. OO also provides direct support and training to people and organisations (including governments) wanting to understand and use beneficial ownership data. By providing technologies such as the BODS as public goods, OO aims to transform the availability of structured beneficial ownership data around the globe, going well beyond the implementation support provided directly to countries.
Research to inform policy
OO’s third workstream aims to further build the evidence base and produce the guidance and resources that help local stakeholders to implement effective BOT reforms. To do so, OO continues to collect evidence of implementation and impact from the team’s country work, guided by and informing the Open Ownership Principles (OO Principles), and sharing this knowledge and evidence with other national level stakeholders. It is important to research how to implement BOT effectively as well as why implementing BOT is necessary, as these questions underpin OO’s work at a national level and inform the development of data tools and technologies. This research is also a key mechanism through which OO can influence change across the world, by informing international standards and practices on BOT, and influencing the practice of intermediary organisations and consultants that support BOT implementations around the world.
The Open Ownership Strategy 2022-2025 'From transparent to accountable ownership' is available for download: Open Ownership Strategy 2022-2025.
If you are interested in working with Open Ownership to advance beneficial ownership transparency in your country, please contact [email protected] to discuss your country’s needs and the assistance we could provide.