Transparency International Ukraine and the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the State Agency for E-Governance of Ukraine and OpenOwnership consortium signed the Memorandum related to the Beneficial Ownership and its integration with the Global Register. Recent and accurate data about the auditing companies will be available online and will help to promote transparency and reduce corruption risks. Signing of the Memorandum took place during the international workshop from TI Ukraine “How to succeed in the fight against grand corruption and recovery of stolen assets?”
According to the Memorandum, the information on beneficiaries should be opened and transferred to the Global Register free of charge. Data will be available to the public in a structured, machine-readable, and downloadable format. For publication will be used the standard platform OpenOwnership, so that information can be seen by all countries. TI Ukraine will provide technical support of the integration process to the government. The first results of the collaborative work are going to be presented after 31 of December 2017.
During the signing ceremony Jose Ugaz, the chairman of Transparency International, on behalf of the management team OpenOwnership noticed: “It is important that this Memorandum was not just a document about the intentions of the parties, but also the real basis for the efficient and effective operation. Opening the data is a global trend, which negates most of the risks of corruption. The global network of Transparency International welcomes this move of Ukraitne towards open data.”
After launching the Global Registry in April 2017, Ukraine became the first state, which officially confirmed its readiness to integrate data on beneficiaries electronically. The signing of the Memorandum became possible due to the governmental support of TI Ukraine initiative to transfer information about the beneficial owners to the Global Registry.
“Ukraine was the first country to develop and to start new trends of global partnership, affiliating to create a register of beneficiaries, – said Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, executive director of TI Ukraine. – Signing of the Memorandum during the international workshop on finding answers in combating top corruption and return of stolen assets is a symbolic event. We are grateful to the Government for prompt decisions”
The opening of this information is one of the obligations under the national action plan and the Paris Declaration on the Open Government Partnership initiative as well as the final documents of the Anti-Corruption Summit in London 2016. Available data on the beneficial owners of companies are important in fighting against corruption and ensuring corporate accountability.
“We set ourselves the ambitious goal to ensure transparency and openness of all processes in our country’s life. The Ministry of Justice was the first to provide access to their registers and Ukraine was the first among European countries to oblige companies to publish data about their real owners. Today, we are also the first among European countries which signed a Memorandum and will implement own information resources and business registry to global database. Creating such a register is a true breakthrough in ensuring business transparency and fighting against corruption”, – said Pavlo Petrenko, the Minister of Justice of Ukraine.
“I am sure, that e-government is the key element to effective reforms in Ukraine. A collaboration with a world leader in anti-corruption Transparency International unveil to us additional opportunities to ensure openness and transparency in accordance with global standards”, – mentioned Oleksandr Ryzhenko, the head of the State Agency for E-Governance of Ukraine.
A consortium of international organizations contributed to launch the Global Registry of the beneficial owners: Transparency International, OpenCorporates, World Wide Web Foundation, Global Witness, the B Team, ONE Campaign and Open Contracting Partnership. Its appearance is the result of the political will of the member countries of the global Anti-Corruption Summit that took place in London in May 2016. The registry should become an authoritative source of information about the owners of the companies and organizations. These data will be linked in various jurisdictions, sectors, and interact with other databases.