Summary and Conclusion
In major economies around the world, beneficial ownership registers are increasingly understood to be a critical piece of business infrastructure, providing visibility and assurance, and playing a key role in creating a trusted, effective business environment. This is particularly important in the extractives sector, and EITI has been driving global progress through the beneficial ownership requirement in the EITI Standard.
In recent years, with the increasing importance of data in the world, and new capacities to analyse and combine beneficial ownership data in productive ways, publishing as open data accelerates access to and utility of the information. With central company registers, the UK has been a world leader in this field. As the former Chief Executive of UK Companies House, Tim Moss, said “The purpose of the registry is to provide information.” He went on to say, “We support the economy by providing data and allowing people to make decisions, compare companies they’re going to do business with or not, and if nobody looks at the register we might as well pack up and go home.”
By publishing open data beneficial ownership information for its extractives sector, the Kyrgyz Republic can be a leader on this issue among EITI countries, and bring the benefits of open data to bear on transparency in the extractives sector. Not only will this reap rewards for the Kyrgyz Republic, but the lessons learned through the Open Ownership Pilot Programme will enable other EITI countries to implement open data beneficial ownership registers more efficiently and effectively.
The key recommendation of this report is for SCIESU to put the needs of users at the centre of what they do. This is because, as we have argued throughout, the purpose of a beneficial ownership register cannot be achieved without engagement by users.
In this spirit, we have made recommendations on strengthening the legal and regulatory framework, improving business processes and updating technologies. We believe these changes are critical to ensuring a sustainable beneficial ownership regime for the extractives sector in the Kyrgyz Republic.
Open Ownership looks forward to supporting SCIESU in implementing the beneficial ownership requirements, and we hope this report above provides a solid starting point for further discussion.