Revisions to Draft Companies (Beneficial Ownership Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 – Public Consultation

  • Publication date: 01 December 2021

Sanctions and penalties for non-compliance

5. A company shall issue a warning notice to a person who fails to comply with the provisions of regulation 4 and keep a copy of the warning notice in its register of beneficial owners….A company shall restrict the relevant interest of a person if the person has not complied with the warning notice within fourteen days from the date of the notice.

12. A person who discloses beneficial ownership information in any manner other than for the purpose for which such information is obtained commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand shillings or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both.

The current regulations have important provisions empowering companies to penalise beneficial owners for non-disclosure (regulations 5- 11). The BRS having sufficient powers to enforce compliance is essential to improve the quality of data for use, consistent with international standards. In line with best practice, we recommend that the BRS consider including sanctions – administrative and criminal – for non-compliance as an addition to regulation 12, which currently only penalises unlawful disclosure of BO data.

OO research shows that where governments use BO data in procurement, they can drive up compliance to a BOT regime by imposing sanctions relating specifically to procurement. A number of countries have implemented sanctions for the failure to provide correct BO data. These sanctions range from preventing companies and their beneficial owners from signing contracts, or debarring them from being involved in procurement for a specific period of time. We recommend that these additional sanctions be created and enforced in a coordinated fashion with the procuring and contracting authorities.

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