Beneficial Ownership Visualisation System

Design Principles

BOVS is designed to allow complex beneficial ownership structures to be visualised clearly.

The following goals are used to drive the development of BOVS:

1. Intuitive

The overall picture of the situation should be apparent in a glance.

The average reader should be able to understand the essence of a situation just from looking at a BOVS Diagram, even if they have not encountered a BOVS Diagram before.

2. Simple

Keep diagrams simple. Add complexity in layers if necessary.

There are many aspects to beneficial ownership, and it is not always necessary to include all aspects when making an illustration. BOVS is organised into Core Rules and Optional Features so that complexity can be added only when it is needed.

3. Prioritised

Ensure the most important aspects of beneficial ownership are the clearest.

It is not possible for a diagram to visualise everything about beneficial ownership. BOVS ensures the most important aspects are given the clearest and most prominent treatment. Aspects that are secondary are not included at all, to avoid diagrams becoming cluttered and confusing. Such aspects might be discussed in surrounding text instead.

4. Accurate

Our knowledge about structures must be portrayed accurately and clearly.

Design can accidentally mislead. We deliberately choose approaches that are unambiguous, to avoid suggesting we know more than we in fact do about a situation. BOVS explicitly incorporates rules for cases where knowledge is missing.

5. Powerful

If it can be described by BODS, it can be visualised by BOVS.

BODS allows complex real world beneficial ownership structures to be described in a machine-readable format. BOVS must be capable of translating this format into something human-readable.

6. Sketchable

A valid BOVS Diagram must be easy to produce using just pen and paper.

BOVS Diagram should be useful tools to communicate ideas about beneficial ownership. They should feel natural to draw quickly on a whiteboard or even the back of a napkin.

7. Open

Anyone should be able to use BOVS, in any language or context.

Open Ownership seeks to increase global transparency over who owns and controls companies. BOVS Diagrams help to make such structures transparent. The more and more widely they are used, the easier it will become for the public and governments to understand these structures.

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