OpenOwnership is delighted to announce that Ukraine is set to become the first country to implement the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard, a framework for collecting and publishing beneficial ownership information as open data.
Pavlo Petrenko, Minister of Justice for Ukraine, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with OpenOwnership at the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Denmark, extending Ukraine’s participation in the OpenOwnership Pilot Program. Under this agreement, we will provide technical assistance to Ukraine to publish its beneficial ownership register of companies in Ukraine as open data.
The signing ceremony followed a high level discussion on beneficial ownership transparency, at which John Penrose MP launched a new UK government campaign calling on countries to create a new global norm of beneficial ownership transparency.
Commenting on the campaign launch, Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt said, “Corruption destroys governments, economies and public services by taking money away from society and lining the pockets of ruthless criminals. That’s why we are bolstering our work on tackling corruption both here at home and in the most fragile states in the world, giving these criminals nowhere to hide.”
However, despite some excellent policy progress towards this, the panel discussion acknowledged that despite many recent policy developments, issues arise at implementation, and greater capacity, tools and technical assistance are needed to develop national public beneficial ownership registers.
OpenOwnership’s support to Ukraine will do precisely this. Through our Pilot Program, we will provide bespoke technical assistance to support Ukraine in producing data that is high-quality, public, machine-readable and consistent with international best practice for corporate transparency. This will include implementing the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard, an open source format for collecting and publishing useful, linkable beneficial ownership data. The resulting data from Ukraine will be added to the OpenOwnership Register and linked with beneficial ownership datasets from around the world.
Last year Ukraine signed up to share data with the OpenOwnership Register - our global database of linkable beneficial ownership information - and as part of this we conducted a scoping study that showed that while Ukraine’s beneficial ownership regime was advanced, more progress could be made. For OpenOwnership, this next phase of work is an exciting opportunity to support Ukraine in implementing these recommendations and the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard.
Through this, and our work with other Pilot Program countries, we are drawing together best practice guidance for governments implementing beneficial ownership regimes as open data. This guidance will help ensure that policy commitments translate into useful, linkable beneficial ownership data, and drive further progress towards a new global norm of beneficial ownership transparency.