OGP Newsletter

June 2017: Spotlight on Beneficial Ownership
“Follow the money.” It’s not just a movie quote - it’s the rallying cry of a growing movement to unmask who owns resources, real estate, and corporations around the world. Join OGP and our partners for an in-depth look at beneficial ownership around the world - and how OGP is helping it become a reality.

In This Issue:

How the private sector can bring beneficial ownership into the light
Indonesia’s “roadmap” to clear corruption out of the extractives sector
Oligarchs and extractives: the fight for openness in Ukraine
OpenOwnership opens a global register to fight corruption, and Ukraine leads the way
Muhammadu Buhari’s fight for corporate transparency in Nigeria
A press freedom champion from Australia takes the gold
A winding, not-so-silk route to openness in Mongolia
plus news from around the world of opengov, jobs & more

Representatives from the OGP Support Unit met with civil society and government in Burkina Faso.

The Business Case for Transparency

By Annabel Lee Hogg, The B Team

Corporations aren’t at the forefront of transparency initiatives, but Annabel Lee Hogg argues they should be. When corporations are open and transparent, growth can result and fraud can disappear. Find out more here.

Hidden ownership – a particular challenge in the oil, mining and gas sectors

By Gay Ordenes and Victor Ponsford, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

The Panama Papers implicated dozens of high-ranking officials in schemes to shroud ownership of companies around the world. By adopting new standards and “roadmaps,” like in resource-rich Indonesia, the days of hidden ownership could be numbered. Read more here.

Unsure of where to start with beneficial ownership in your country? The Tax Justice Network is here to help, with a handy checklist for policymakers and stakeholders working on beneficial ownership registries.

Transparency on beneficial ownership is essential for good governance and reforms

By Olena Pavlenko, Publish What You Pay

Ukraine is Europe’s biggest gas producer. Where do those profits go, and who’s pocketing them? The Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative has been working hard to uncover those answers - with a bit of luck. Read the full story here.

How Ukraine opened up its beneficial ownership data -- and how your country can be next

By Zosia Sztykowski, Transparency International Ukraine

While Ukraine may have a difficult battle in exposing ownership, it is breaking ground as the first country to integrate its national ownership registry with the OpenOwnership global beneficial ownership. This is a big first step for both Ukraine and the register - potentially shining a light on transnational illicit cash flows. Read more here.

Featured OGP Commitment 

Country: Mongolia
Action Plan: 2014-16
Commitment: Minerals, oil, and real estate database

Mongolia’s mining and land procurement process was once so corrupt that the government stopped issuing licenses. An OGP commitment could change this legacy of corruption - but it’s a slow and winding road. Find out more about Mongolia’s fight to reveal beneficial ownership - and the future of this potentially transformative OGP commitment - here.

Announcing OGP’s Research Agenda!

By OGP Knowledge, Learning, and Impact Team

OGP is excited to publish its 2017-18 research agenda. This research agenda aims to generate useful tools to directly support reformers in the field while maintaining OGP’s commitment to credible, evidence-based policy. Research will be executed through grants and through convening and agenda setting. We encourage interested think tanks, researchers, and academics to watch for a call for proposals or contact us directly at


"Why do we care about beneficial ownership? Anonymous companies, or companies for which there’s hidden beneficial ownership information, are the number one vehicle for moving illicit money around the world. The number one vehicle. Not only for moving, but also for hiding that money. It happens in every industry and it happens all around the world… It’s a very basic concept. And it’s a critical concept. It’s key to really knowing what’s happening to the money."
Quote of the Month: Heather Low
Legal Counsel and Director of Government Affairs, Global Financial Integrity

Click through to watch the full video and Heather's full remarks on beneficial ownership.

Is beneficial ownership transparency possible in Nigeria?

By Uche Igwe, University of Sussex

Nigeria loses billions in GDP each year due to corruption and hidden ownership. President Muhammadu Buhari has made rooting out corruption his signature fight - but does Nigeria have the political will to succeed in this battle? Read about it here.

OGP’s got two new civil society members on the Steering Committee! Click here to meet Giorgi Kldiashvili and Tur-Od Lkhagvajav, and find out more about the process.

Faces of Open Government

Peter Timmins
Press Freedom Medal Winner, 2017

Populist, “closed” governments have swept to power all over the globe. What’s the antidote to this trend?

Democracy is a powerful idea, still the best we have when it comes to governance, but we must also recognise and respond to the growing demand for more participative democracy. Those who rest entirely on an historical attachment to representative democracy- vote, then leave the governing to us- play into the hands of those who argue that the system is a failure.

Read Peter’s full interview

OGP in the News - May 2017

By Jacqueline McGraw, Communications Associate, OGP

Australia’s OGP champion won an award, Pakistan’s Finance Minister met with OGP CEO Sanjay Pradhan in Japan, and the OECD talked OGP and the SDGs. And that’s not even the first paragraph! Read more about OGP’s month of headlines here.

In early June, OGP's Francophone meeting brought policymakers from around West Africa, including many representatives of non-participating countries.

Employment Opportunities

Donor Scoping Consultant in Africa
OGP is looking for an individual to carry out donor mapping in OGP member countries in Africa. The overall objective of this assignment is to conduct a comprehensive donor scoping and intelligence of funding agencies in 15 African countries. The consultant will lead the donor mapping process with a view to actively seek partnerships with those donors whose priorities are in line with the Open Governance Partnership and Good Governance broadly.

Call for IRM National Researchers 
The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) is seeking individuals to carry out research at the national level in a variety of countries to assess government progress on implementation of their OGP Action Plans.

Call for Film Proposals
Open Government Partnership's Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) is inviting bids for the production of a 3-4 minute animated film about the IRM. Potential candidates should respond to a creative brief outlining the film's objectives of educating target audiences about the IRM mechanism and mission. It will primarily be used for live presentations but also be available on OGP's website. A successful film will result in greater understanding of the work of the IRM & excitement for its reach and impact.

Buzz on #OpenGov   

The Americas Regional Meeting call for proposals opens on June 8th. Visit the Meeting website to find out more.

OGP Subnational Program Manager Brittany Giroux Lane made headlines in Bojonegoro, Indonesia.

OGP Support Unit representatives visited Baku, Azerbaijan in May.

The OGP Strategic Refresh is online and available for comment here.

Subscribe to OGP in the News to receive weekly updates about OGP's media coverage around the world.

The World of #OpenGov

Open Data Charter is hiring a Program Officer.

OpenCorporates is hiring a Community and Advocacy Manager.

Mayors and subnational pioneers from Buenos Aires and Madrid met in Madrid to sign a memorandum of collaboration and discuss ways to build citizen engagement on the local level.

NRGI has published a benchmarking framework for best practices in resources management.

The Good Lobby Inaugural Event and Good Lobby Advocacy School will be held in Brussels on June 22nd and 23rd.

The Journal of e-Democracy is accepting submissions for its Special Issue on Progress, Insights, and Implications of the Open Government Partnership until June 15.

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