Notes on open data and transparency

Beneficial ownership, corporate disclosure, tax justice, supply chains, policy and history

Week: Jan 27, 2020 → Jan 31, 2020

Working 1. Mainly by accident, I briefly shadowed some support work that Matt was doing on another data standard we support, Open Contracting. Shadowing was an incredibly effective way to learn about the trade-offs and decision points that publishers encounter when implementing a particular standard, and the deep knowledge that our analysts have built up to facilitate the decisions that publishers make and to build confidence that those decisions are the right ones.

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Week: Jan 20, 2020 → Jan 24, 2020

Working 1. We spent most of the week co-operating at one of our quarterly meetings so there wasn’t a huge amount of time for delivery. I often find the prospect of an enforced break from my main project to be daunting; in practice, being away is always really helpful as a creative catalyst. (I already know this but also always manage forget this.) 2. As part of a systems migration, Simon has been transferring lots of our internal tickets on beneficial ownership over to Github and closing or moving others to the new system (Notion).

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Government as a Platform Playbook - some implications for Beneficial Ownership Transparency

Richard Pope’s Government as a Platform Playbook (GaaPP) is a clear and insightful summary of the move from simply digitising government services to (re)building them on “platforms” that are modular and can be reused by multiple service designers. In theory, this allows services to be designed around the needs of citizens, rather than replicating the structures of a government. The GaaPP helped clarify some of my thinking around the local context of implementing beneficial ownership transparency (BOT). That context involves not just legal frameworks and technical capacity (to which we have paid a lot of attention) but service availability (which we have probably underplayed). BOT has a lot of dependencies on other government services and, if implemented well, could potentially add value by providing services to other parts of government.

This post contains a series of, largely unordered and disconnected, implications for BOT implementation that occurred to me as I was reading through the Playbook, as well as some brief notes on the GaaPP itself. I recommend reading the whole thing, and there are some interesting essays listed in a related Twitter thread too.

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Identifiers and Standards Governance :: Draft

In open data , and in open data standards, everybody loves identifiers. But maybe we love identifiers so much that we are accelerating use and production of identifiers, at the expense of:

This post is about the current dynamics between open data standards and identifiers, as I see them, and the implications for what might need to happen next.

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Beneficial Ownership Registers: who knows what?

This is an condensed, expanded and tidied up version of a talk I gave at EITI’s Opening Up Ownership: Africa conference, Dakar, Senegal in November 2018. It covers which actors know what in the beneficial ownership disclosure process, and some of the implications for data quality, business processes and register design.

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