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GCFFC Beneficial Ownership Transparency position paper
Briefings · Global Coalition for Fighting Financial Crime (GCFFC) · Aug 2021

This paper outlines the Global Coalition to Fight Financial Crime’s (GCFFC) position on beneficial ownership transparency. Open Ownership is a member of the GCFFC. As part of its objectives to promote more effective information sharing between public and private entities, and to propose mechanisms to identify emerging threats and best practice approaches to more robust controls against money laundering, the GCFFC believes that all actors fighting financial crime should have instant access to high quality, highly usable beneficial ownership data.

Open Ownership response to FATF consultation on revisions to Recommendation 24
Consultations · Open Ownership · Aug 2021

Open Ownership’s contribution to the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) consultation on revisions to its Recommendation 24 on beneficial ownership transparency. This response focuses on why mandating centralised registries as part of a multi-pronged approach is the most effective way to achieve FATF’s objectives by ensuring actors fighting financial crime have timely access to accurate beneficial ownership data.

Beneficial ownership transparency of trusts
Briefings · Ramandeep Kaur Chhina · Jul 2021

This policy briefing analyses the existing policy and regulatory framework on the BOT of trusts at an international level, and highlights research and policy recommendations on the issue whilst identifying the gaps for further research. The aim is to help policymakers and those implementing or supporting BOT to think through various issues and approaches toward ensuring the BOT of trusts, as well as to outline considerations for operationalisation by identifying emerging best practice in legal and policy reforms.

An introduction to trusts
Briefings · Ramandeep Kaur Chhina · Jul 2021

This briefing aims to provide background information to the concept of trusts, and serves as a resource reference to develop an understanding of various types of trusts, their functions, and the roles of various parties of a trust. It highlights some of the legitimate and illegitimate uses of trusts, as well as the current practice in a variety of countries on the regulatory treatment of trusts. It is a background to the paper Beneficial ownership transparency of trusts for those who are new to the concept.

Implementation Guide
Guidance · Open Ownership · Jul 2021

A step-by-step guide to implementing beneficial ownership transparency.

The Open Ownership Principles
Guidance · Open Ownership · Jul 2021

The Open Ownership Principles for effective beneficial ownership disclosure are designed to make published data more easy to use, accurate, and interoperable. These have been reached through Open Ownership’s work developing the Beneficial Ownership Data Standard and supporting almost 40 countries to advance beneficial ownership transparency.

Beneficial ownership disclosure workbook
Guidance · Kadie Armstrong · Jun 2021

This short, accessible resource is a workbook to help you explore beneficial ownership. The scenarios in the workbook illustrate fictional company ownership structures, and it is designed to help you explore the extent of information disclosed when a company is required to make a beneficial ownership declaration. There are scenarios and illustrations to help you throughout.

This workbook will be useful for country implementers developing a disclosure regime, technical teams implementing data collection systems, or companies wanting to disclose their own beneficial ownership structure.

Making central beneficial ownership registers public
Briefings · Tymon Kiepe · May 2021

This policy briefing outlines the benefits that arise from making a beneficial ownership register public. It looks at how different user groups are able to use the data when it is made public, and identifies the benefits this gives.

It argues that there is sufficient evidence for policymakers to act on the understanding that a public register will serve the public interest. It outlines key considerations for implementers and helps devise effective and safe BOT regimes appropriate for their contexts.

Transforming Procurement Systems in South Africa
Case studies · Open Ownership · May 2021

In the six months leading up to April 2021, Open Ownership undertook a lightning intervention in South Africa. The project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and you can read the bite-sized report here.

Transforming Procurement Systems in Nigeria
Case studies · Open Ownership · May 2021

In the six months leading up to April 2021, Open Ownership undertook a lightning intervention in Nigeria. The project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and you can read the bite-sized report here.

Transforming Procurement Systems in Indonesia
Case studies · Open Ownership · May 2021

In the six months leading up to April 2021, Open Ownership undertook a lightning intervention in Indonesia. The project was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and you can read the bite-sized report here.

Early impacts of public registers of beneficial ownership: United Kingdom
Case studies · Chinwe Ekene Ezeigbo, Louise Russell-Prywata and Tymon Kiepe · Apr 2021

The UK was the first country in the world to commit to making beneficial ownership transparent. In 2016 it launched its public beneficial ownership – or Persons of Significant Control (PSC) – register. PSC data is widely used, and has been critical in investigations into financial crime and terrorism-related offences. This report provides details of the UK’s approach and case studies of the impact it has had.

Integrity in IMF COVID-19 financing
Reports · Open Ownership, Open Contracting Partnership and Oxford Insights · Apr 2021

As economic crises followed the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early months of 2020, many governments appealed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial support. The IMF released funds under emergency financing instruments and governments were asked to make commitments to introduce elements of procurement and beneficial ownership transparency. This report assesses if countries delivered on their procurement & beneficial ownership transparency commitments.

Beneficial ownership declaration forms: Guide for regulators and designers
Guidance · Open Ownership · Mar 2021

This guide introduces a number of considerations for form development, and presents a worked example of a form that addresses these issues.

Beneficial Ownership Data Standard template
Guidance · Open Ownership · Mar 2021

This spreadsheet template allows beneficial ownership information to be represented as Beneficial Ownership Data Standard (BODS) 0.2 data. Once completed, the spreadsheet can be submitted to Open Ownership’s Data Review Tool for validation and conversion to BODS JSON.

Example Beneficial ownership declaration form
Guidance · Open Ownership · Mar 2021

OO’s example disclosure form was made to demonstrate good practice in form design for collecting structured BO data in line with the Open Ownership Principles (OO Principles).

Beneficial ownership data in procurement
Briefings · Eva Okunbor and Tymon Kiepe · Mar 2021

This policy briefing outlines the main ways beneficial ownership data can improve public procurement processes and objectives, and discusses some of the key considerations and decisions that implementers face.

It is available in English, Spanish and Indonesian.

Technical assistance with implementation
Guidance · Open Ownership · Mar 2021

Open Ownership provides technical assistance in all aspects of implementation, as well as advice to governments considering final beneficiary reforms. OO takes a collaborative and tailored approach, and works with governments and their partners in countries to develop support packages tailored to their needs. This document describes examples of the services we offer at each stage of the process.

Beneficial Ownership in Law: Definitions and Thresholds
Briefings · Peter Low and Tymon Kiepe · Oct 2020

To maximise the impact of beneficial ownership (BO) registers, it is important to minimise loopholes and make data as useful as possible. A legal definition of BO and its associated thresholds form the foundation on which a disclosure regime is built. This policy briefing aims to help policymakers and those implementing or supporting beneficial ownership transparency to think through the decisions required to define BO in law and to set appropriate thresholds, and how to operationalise these.

Early impacts of public registers of beneficial ownership: Slovakia
Case studies · Open Ownership · Oct 2020

Slovakia was among the first countries in the world to implement a public beneficial ownership register and is a member of the Beneficial Ownership Leadership Group. Slovakian public beneficial ownership data was used to expose alleged cases of wrongdoing. Reaching this point required the Slovakian government to overcome challenges in that process, with practical lessons for other states implementing beneficial ownership transparency. This report provides details of Slovakia’s approach and case studies of the impact it has had.

Beneficial ownership transparency and listed companies
Guidance · Jack Lord and Kadie Armstrong · Sep 2020

This technical note supports implementers of national beneficial ownership registers to reduce risks associated with exemptions from disclosure that exist for listed companies. It is not intended as an endorsement of the policy of exempting listed companies from beneficial ownership disclosure. Rather, the aim is to create actionable advice that can reduce the impact of policy loopholes and produce high quality data about listed companies in contexts where exemptions remain a reality.

Catalysing transformative change in beneficial ownership transparency
Reports · EITI and Open Ownership · Sep 2020

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Open Ownership (OO) are partnering to develop and deliver Opening Extractives, a new global programme to bring about transformative change in the availability and use of beneficial ownership (BO) information for effective governance of natural resources across the value chain. In order to inform the design of this programme, which the organisations have been invited to submit as a proposal to the BHP Foundation, EITI and OO conducted primary and secondary research to ensure that the assumptions upon which the programme was being designed are valid, and to collect additional evidence to complement the knowledge and experience of both organisations.

Beneficial Ownership Transparency In Armenia: Scoping Study
Reports · Peter Low, Kadie Armstrong, Louise Russell-Prywata · Aug 2020

This report summarizes findings from Open Ownership’s scoping study into beneficial ownership transparency in Armenia in 2020. We provide a detailed assessment of Armenia’s BO regime, analysing current and planned reforms against OO’s principles of effective BO disclosure. The issues and recommendations in this report will also be relevant to other EITI countries, particularly those using sectoral disclosures as a pilot for economy-wide systems.

Effective consultation processes for beneficial ownership transparency reform
Guidance · Open Ownership · Jun 2020

Delivering improved beneficial ownership transparency is a process that should involve as many different groups as possible, from government officials to citizens and businesses. This briefing draws on OpenOwnership’s experience supporting almost 40 countries to advance beneficial ownership transparency. Throughout this work we have gained insight into how consultation can be delivered within different political, social and economic contexts. This briefing provides government implementers and actors supporting reform with general guidance on effective consultation approaches.

Verification of beneficial ownership data
Briefings · Open Ownership · May 2020

A policy briefing on verification best practice, case studies and implementation.

It is available in English, Spanish and Indonesian.

Open Ownership response to Consultation on strengthening corporate beneficial ownership transparency in Canada
Consultations · Open Ownership · Mar 2020

Open Ownership’s response to Canada’s Consultation on strengthening corporate beneficial ownership transparency.

Open Ownership response to British Columbia consultation on a Public Beneficial Ownership Registry
Consultations · Open Ownership · Mar 2020

Open Ownership’s contribution to the British Columbia (B.C.) consultation on a public beneficial ownership (BO) registry. This response is focused on why making the proposed BO registry public would improve its policy impact.

Open Ownership response to BEIS consultation on Corporate Transparency and Register Reform
Consultations · Open Ownership · Aug 2019

Open Ownership’s response to the UK Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), in response to its consultation on Corporate Transparency and Register Reform.

Example Paper Forms for Collecting Beneficial Ownership Data
Guidance · Open Ownership · Jun 2019

This document provides example forms to guide officials tasked with developing paper forms to collect beneficial ownership information.

Data Protection and Privacy in Beneficial Ownership Disclosure
Reports · Open Ownership · May 2019

This is a research report from Open Ownership, The B Team and The Engine Room in which we consider the legal implications of public beneficial ownership data to the public, evaluated from both the perspective of the companies holding that information and the authorities requiring it to be disclosed publicly, and the relationship with data protection and privacy laws.

Privacy or public interest? Making the case for public information on company ownership
Briefings · Open Ownership · Mar 2019

This is a summary of a research report from OpenOwnership, The B Team and The Engine Room in which we consider the legal implications of public beneficial ownership data to the public, evaluated from both the perspective of the companies holding that information and the authorities requiring it to be disclosed publicly, and the relationship with data protection and privacy laws.

Implementing beneficial ownership transparency in the Kyrgyz Republic extractives sector — findings and recommendations
Reports · Louise Russell-Prywata, Jack Lord · Mar 2019

This report summarizes findings from Open Ownership’s scoping visit to the Kyrgyz Republic in September 2018, and the research surrounding the visit. It makes recommendations for improvements to the legal and regulatory environment, business process and technical tools that will enable the Kyrgyz Republic to fulfil its policy objective and generate useful beneficial ownership data. The issues and recommendations in this report will also be relevant to other EITI countries implementing beneficial ownership transparency commitments in line with the EITI Standard.

Improving beneficial ownership transparency in Ukraine: Review and recommendations
Reports · Zosia Sztykowski and Tom Mayne · Mar 2018

Ukraine became the second country in the world after the United Kingdom to implement a public register of the beneficial owners of corporate entities registered in country. Laws were passed in 2014 and 2015, and a decree of the Cabinet of Ministers stipulated that this information should be published by Spring 2016.

The goal of this report is to determine the best next steps to take during an update of the companies register that is planned for 2018. This report is based on in-depth research and meetings with key officials and stakeholders in Ukraine which helped us formulate our findings.

Learning the lessons from the UK’s public beneficial ownership register
Case studies · OpenOwnership and Global Witness · Nov 2017

In 2016 the UK became one of the first countries to create a public register of the beneficial owners of companies. The UK register, called the register of Persons with Significant Control (PSC), has both demonstrated the feasibility of public registers and set new standards in publishing the data as open data, allowing others to analyse the data in bulk. While the UK register has been pioneering, there is much that can be learnt - both to improve the UK register and for others considering or establishing public beneficial ownership registers.