Armenia signs MoU with OpenOwnership

Eva Okunbor · Oct 2019

We’re excited to announce the start of a partnership between OpenOwnership and the Armenian Government, that will be a step towards ultimately allowing Armenia to publish beneficial ownership data that is effective in preventing money laundering and corruption, and supports a fair and open business environment.

The Minister of Justice for Armenia, Rustam Basayan and our Executive Director Thom Townsend, signed a Memorandum of Understanding this week in Yerevan. Under this agreement, OpenOwnership will provide technical assistance to support Armenia in implementing beneficial ownership transparency. Opening the signing ceremony and technical workshop in Yerevan, Minister Basayan said, ‘Whilst there is no straight-forward way to stop money laundering, beneficial ownership information is key to tackling this transnational issue, and Armenia is committed to finding the best way to proceed in establishing efficient ways to share high quality information about who owns companies.”

We’re excited about the opportunity to work with Armenia, which has committed to ambitious beneficial ownership reforms and is joining the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group, which was launched earlier this year at the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit. The Leadership Group supports a number of principles, including engaging with a range of partners to advance the objective of making beneficial ownership transparency a global norm. This follows Armenia making commitments to beneficial ownership transparency within the frameworks of OGP and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).

We will be carrying out an initial scoping, conducting a review of Armenia’s current legal frameworks, business processes and technical systems. We have already begun providing some initial assistance, reviewing draft beneficial ownership declaration forms and sub-legislation. The signing ceremony was followed by a workshop and technical discussion on international practises in data collection and verification.

Carried out with the support of the World Bank - OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund, and in partnership with OGP, this initial workshop is set to be just the start of scoping work that will enable us to develop a set of tailored recommendations for the Armenian Government. The intention is for our report and recommendations to inform next steps and future technical assistance, and we look forward to working with the Ministry of Justice, EITI Armenia and stakeholders across civil society and the private sector over the coming months.

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