Principles for Effective Beneficial Ownership Disclosure

Last updated: July 2021

The Open Ownership Principles (OO Principles) set the international standard for effective beneficial ownership disclosure. The OO Principles are intended to support governments implementing beneficial ownership reforms and guide international institutions, civil society, and private sector actors in understanding and advocating for effective reforms.

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The OO Principles provide a framework for implementing comprehensive beneficial ownership transparency reforms, and assessing and improving existing disclosure regimes. They seek to generate actionable and usable data across the widest range of policy applications of beneficial ownership data. Effective disclosure needs high quality, reliable data to maximise usability for all potential users and to minimise loopholes.

The nine principles are all interrelated and interdependent, but can be broadly divided by the three main ways they improve data. The Robust definition, Comprehensive coverage, and Sufficient detail principles enable data disclosure and collection. The Central register, Public access, and Structured data principles facilitate data availability and accessibility. Finally, the Verification, Up to date and auditable, and Sanctions and enforcement principles improve data quality and reliability.

The OO Principles – first published in December 2020 – are based on Open Ownership’s work with over 40 countries establishing good practices for open data, and they are based on the findings from practitioners and academic researchers, as well as consultations with government, private sector, and civil society actors conducted in early 2021. The OO Principles focus on the technical characteristics of effective disclosure regimes rather than the external political, social, economic, and cultural factors that are known to influence implementation and impact.

As the policy area of BOT continues to evolve, OO will continue to refine and update the OO Principles to ensure they remain a high but achievable standard that delivers impact.