It’s been an exhilarating month for us at OpenOwnership. So much has happened that we thought we’d showcase the key events in this blog post.

Three members of our team attended the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in Ottawa, which brought together a diverse collection of voices from government, civil society and the private sector to discuss growing global norms in open government.

Beneficial ownership transparency featured prominently, with governments across the world acknowledging the need to end the damage caused by anonymously-owned companies and making significant commitments towards this. We’re excited about the impact this will have in advancing trust, improving the social contract between companies, governments and citizens, and supporting the integrity of companies and stability of economies globally.

In case you missed it, here’s some highlights from the conference, our work and the beneficial ownership transparency sector more generally.

At OGP

The Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group

John Penrose, the UK Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion launched a Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group. This transnational coalition of governments will drive a global policy shift towards free, open beneficial ownership data and set ambitious best practice. OpenOwnership will coordinate key Leadership Group activities, facilitate discussions on international best practice and produce related guidance. To date, Argentina, Latvia, Norway, Kenya, Finland, Slovakia, Ukraine and Armenia have joined the group, with Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia likely to join in the autumn

A Guide to Implementing Beneficial Ownership Transparency

We’re delighted to launch a new product, A Guide to Implementing Beneficial Ownership Transparency to support the Leadership Group and other governments implementing beneficial ownership transparency. The guide supports all stages of the implementation journey from commitment through to publication and is complemented by a set of technical tools for implementers.

You can learn more about both the Leadership Group and Guide here.

An Award from MDTF

We’re proud to have been awarded a grant from the OGP Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) for advancing OGP’s thematic priority in the field of Beneficial Ownership. We will form part of the first ever cohort of awardees for this program. We will use this award to scale our impact across the globe.

Launch of State of Open Data Book

The book State of Open Data was launched by Open Data for Development (OD4D) with Jack Lord, from our technical partner-Open Data Services Co-operative, contributing a chapter on Corporate Ownership. It explores the current state of corporate data and some of the issues that still need to be addressed to improve data quality and achieve policy impact.

At OpenOwnership

A New Executive Director

We’re delighted to announce Thom Townsend as our new Executive Director who will take our organisation’s work to the next level of global scale and impact. Learn more about him here.

New Report: Data Protection And Privacy In Beneficial Ownership Disclosure

We’ve launched a new report entitled Data Protection And Privacy In Beneficial Ownership Disclosure in partnership with The B Team and The Engine Room. It considers the legal implications of public beneficial ownership data to the public and the relationship with data protection and privacy laws. You can read a summary of the report here.

In the News

● Watch John Penrose discussing why corporate ownership transparency is so important and how it can support the fight against money laundering and corruption globally here

● A very human story about how Slovakia’s public Beneficial Ownership register has tackled corruption and helped the economy: https://youtu.be/qDVIGc4JYxM

● A new report by Global Witness highlights how improvements to the UK company register are needed to curtail corruption

● Global Witness investigations reveal how anonymous companies are being used as “the vehicles of choice for the dirtiest players”. Learn how Soco International Plc, Berau Coal and the Congolese Presidential family are using shell companies to move millions of dollars, hiding corrupt and unethical practices.

Keep checking in on this News page to learn more about progress towards making beneficial ownership transparency a global norm and the impact this is having across the globe.

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