Beneficial ownership is a core dataset in fighting corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. Yet the data currently available for financial intelligence varies widely in quality, consistency and level of detail, hindering progress of investigations. As more countries establish and improve upon beneficial ownership regimes, there is an opportunity to shape the policy and technical choices made, and transform the quality and usability of the data in fighting corruption and money laundering.
The Beneficial Ownership Policy Modeller will make it possible to clearly see the consequences of each policy design or implementation choice, before systems are built.
The modeller will take the form of an online tool, consisting of a policy checklist and control panel where various aspects of a disclosure regime can be set, such as thresholds, entities covered, data requirements, and data validation.
The modeller will generate a set of visualisations and outcomes in real time, responding interactively to the decisions made. These will show the kinds of corporate ownership networks that could be identified from the disclosure regime chosen, and the likely outcomes in terms of usage, costs/benefits and potential problems. These outcomes will be backed by evidence from OpenOwnership's evidence lab, drawing on analysis of data from over 25 jurisdictions, covering over 7 million beneficial owners.
For example, a regime that collects absolute ownership percentages but does not have unique identifiers for individuals, and does not collect dates of birth, would enable checks on the completeness of disclosures, but would place considerable costs on anyone seeking to de-duplicate the identity of owners with the same name.
This tool will be made available as open-source software and delivered over the internet as a standalone, self-service application. Furthermore, OpenOwnership will use this tool to build exemplary models of existing regimes, providing living documentation of choices made by the pioneers in our Leadership Group. These will help bridge the knowledge gap of existing implementations and provide a foundation for the global discussion about the appropriate trade-offs in beneficial ownership regimes.
This responds to Topic 4: Fighting Money Laundering - the Use of Data for Financial Intelligence, and in particular, to the recognition that there are a range of policy and technical approaches to implementing beneficial ownership transparency. The tool will support countries to explore models that are tailor made to their needs, whilst recognising the relationship between decisions in one country, and the impact of those decisions on the creation of a wider ecosystem of interoperable data that can be used in the fight against money laundering.