Corruption, corporate transparency and open data

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Presentation given by Chris Taggart of OpenCorporates at the Open Knowledge Festival, September 2012, on the importance of open data and corporate transparency in the fight against corruption, fraud, money laundering and organised crime

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  • Corruption, corporate transparency and open data

    1. Corruption, & Open Data Corporate Transparencyhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/zomgitsbrian/4042100914
    2. We live in a highly complex,massively interconnected,corporate world
    3. Companies nolonger look like this
    4. Companies nolonger look like this
    5. Companies nolonger look like this nor even like this
    6. Butlikethis
    7. Butlikethis or like this
    8. Butlikethis or like this
    9. And they are more complexby the day
    10. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000s
    11. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formation
    12. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formationGrowing in opacity – use of secrecy jurisdictions andoff-register entities to provide firewalls to tax, regulation,information
    13. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formationGrowing in opacity – use of secrecy jurisdictions andoff-register entities to provide firewalls to tax, regulation,informationGrowing in complexity – not a hierarchy but a complex,sometimes even circular network of entities
    14. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000s
    15. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formation
    16. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formationGrowing in opacity – use of secrecy jurisdictions andoff-register entities to provide firewalls to tax, regulation,information
    17. And they are more complexby the dayGrowing in scale – not 10s of legal entities but 1000sGrowing in speed – we are seeing the beginnings ofhigh-frequency company formationGrowing in opacity – use of secrecy jurisdictions andoff-register entities to provide firewalls to tax, regulation,informationGrowing in complexity – not a hierarchy but a complex,sometimes even circular network of entities
    18. guys... Which is great for the badhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/vincentsl/3543888150
    19. ...becausecriminalactivity isa result of http://www.flickr.com/photos/sepehrehsani/5766453552cost-benefitanalysis
    20. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/archives/ 2009_news_releases/september_2009/09122009.xmlHow much can we make?
    21. Will we get caught? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Viktor_Bout_Extradited_to_US.jpg
    22. What’s the downside?http://www.flickr.com/photos/timpearcelosgatos/3558607900
    23. This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    24. Corruption This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    25. Corruption This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    26. Fraud Corruption This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    27. Fraud Corruption Money laundering This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    28. Fraud Corruption Money laundering This mattershttp://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    29. This matters Corruption Fraud Money laundering Organised crime http://www.flickr.com/photos/propagandatimes/5242113537
    30. “Out of 150large-scalecorruptioncases themajority usedcompanies tohide themoney trail”
    31. So what has open data got to do with it?
    32. Complexity is good (if youwant to avoid detection) http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/613445810It’s easy for the bad guysto get lost in the crowd
    33. “While bad behaviour doesfollow the shadows, there’sa huge difference betweenhuddling in corners andhaving a riot in the darkenedstreets” – John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation
    34. A concrete exampleAsiaUniversalBank –Kyrgystan’s largest bankNot just a small bank ina far off countryFully connected to theworld’s financial system3 US senators on theboard
    35. A concrete exampleLeaks & accusations ofinsolvency & money-laundering, following arevolutionA superb investigationby Global Witness led tocompanies in NewZealand, UK, etc...Companies withshareholders who hadbeen dead even beforethe formation
    36. The lesson (for criminals)Absent of... ...a revolution ...leaks ...a long-running investigation by a well-resourced NGOyou’re safe!
    37. We’re looking for needles ina haystack, and need opendata to reduce the problemto manageable proportions
    38. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in?
    39. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in?NGOs? Don’t get data
    40. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in?NGOs? Don’t get dataGovernment? Limited by jurisdiction and mindset
    41. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in?NGOs? Don’t get dataGovernment? Limited by jurisdiction and mindsetData journalists? Not enough of them and don’tunderstand the subject
    42. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in?NGOs? Don’t get dataGovernment? Limited by jurisdiction and mindsetData journalists? Not enough of them and don’tunderstand the subjectCitizens/good business? Don’t have the tools/resources
    43. This is where the watchdogs(are supposed to) come in? NGOs? Don’t get data Government? Limited by jurisdiction and mindset Data journalists? Not enough of them and don’t understand the subject Citizens/good business? Don’t have the tools/ resourcesAnd all have a problem getting thedata (especially in a usable form)
    44. So open data is not aloneenough
    45. So open data is not aloneenough
    46. So open data is not aloneenoughWe need skills,understanding, incentives
    47. So open data is not aloneenoughWe need skills,understanding, incentives
    48. So open data is not aloneenoughWe need skills,understanding, incentivesBut without it we are sunk
    49. We also need to make a distinction between thetransparent corporate world and the opaque one – the ‘dark corporate web’
    50. So how do the Open Government Partnershipcountries score for access to company data?
    51. So how do the Open Government Partnership FA IL!for accesscountries score to company data?
    52. 4 key measures
    53. 4 key measuresBasic search: can you search the company registerfreely, without charge and without registrationLicence: Is there a licence that allows open reuse ofthe informationData: Is the information available as open data as adata dump or an APIDepth: Is there sufficient information to get a truepicture of the company and those who control it –directors, significant shareholdings, and statutory filings
    54. The results were not good...
    55. The results were not good...
    56. OpenCorporates
    57. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) forevery corporate legal entity in the world
    58. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) forevery corporate legal entity in the world URI is based on the company register ID, meaning it’s open and IP-free
    59. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) forevery corporate legal entity in the world URI is based on the company register ID, meaning it’s open and IP-free
    60. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) forevery corporate legal entity in the world URI is based on the company register ID, meaning it’s open and IP-free
    61. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) forevery corporate legal entity in the world URI is based on the company register ID, meaning it’s open and IP-free
    62. A simple (huge) goal: an entry (and URI) for every corporate legal entity in the world URI is based on the company register ID, meaning it’s open and IP-free Also i trade mpor marks ting pofficia , gove ublic data l regis rnme ters & nt spe – gazet nding te not , ices.. .
    63. All Op enly Lfree re icens use, e ed, al ven c lowin omm g ercial ly
    64. 5 core uses
    65. 1. An open identifying system
    66. 1. An open identifying system URIs can be used as common identifiers among a variety of organisations
    67. 1. An open identifying system URIs can be used as common identifiers among a variety of organisations Can be used without reference to OpenCorporates
    68. 1. An open identifying system URIs can be used as common identifiers among a variety of organisations Can be used without reference to OpenCorporates Because they map to the id issued by the company register the corresponding entry in the registry (and associated info) can be found, and vice versa
    69. 1. An open identifying system URIs can be used as common identifiers among a variety of organisations Can be used without reference to OpenCorporates Because they map to the id issued by the company register the corresponding entry in the registry (and associated info) can be found, and vice versa Fits the new EU Business Vocabulary
    70. 1. An open identifying system URIs can be used as common identifiers among a variety of organisations Can be used without reference to OpenCorporates Because they map to the id issued by the company register the corresponding entry in the registry (and associated info) can be found, and vice versa Fits the new EU Business Vocabulary Can even by used for companies in jurisdiction we haven’t yet imported
    71. 2. The simple search
    72. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimated
    73. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimated
    74. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimatedMassively reduces friction(how long will it take youto find and searchmultiple jurisdictions)
    75. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimatedMassively reduces friction(how long will it take youto find and searchmultiple jurisdictions)
    76. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimatedMassively reduces friction(how long will it take youto find and searchmultiple jurisdictions)Allows what if questions
    77. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimatedMassively reduces friction(how long will it take youto find and searchmultiple jurisdictions)Allows what if questionsPotentially generatesstories in its own right
    78. 2. The simple searchNot to be underestimatedMassively reduces friction(how long will it take youto find and searchmultiple jurisdictions)Allows what if questionsPotentially generatesstories in its own right
    79. 3. Source for additional info
    80. 3. Source for additional info Addresses, filings, status, websites...
    81. 3. Source for additional info Addresses, filings, status, websites...
    82. 3. Source for additional info Addresses, filings, status, websites... Intl trademarks, UK govt spending, official notices, health & safety violations...
    83. 3. Source for additional info Addresses, filings, status, websites... Intl trademarks, UK govt spending, official notices, health & safety violations...
    84. 3. Source for additional info Addresses, filings, status, websites... Intl trademarks, UK govt spending, official notices, health & safety violations... Other IDs: SEC, CAGE, etc – allows reverse mapping queries, e.g. show me legal entitity mapped to a CIK code
    85. 4. Reconciliation(matching names to legal entities)Clean up messycompany names(& prev names)to legal entity,and from thereto other dataGoogle Refinereconciliationservice (specificto jurisdiction)
    86. 5. The platform
    87. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches
    88. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches
    89. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches Users can now add data too
    90. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches Users can now add data too
    91. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches Users can now add data too
    92. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches Users can now add data too Coming soon: the option to match data to companies
    93. 5. The platform API: allows all information to be retrieved as data, even searches Users can now add data too Coming soon: the option to match data to companies
    94. New feature: directors/officersWe’ve juststartedimporting &indexingcompanydirectors &officers,allowing searchby name, &finding linksbetween themand othercompanies
    95. New feature: directors/officersWe’ve juststartedimporting &indexingcompanydirectors &officers,allowing searchby name, &finding linksbetween themand othercompanies
    96. New feature: directors/officersWe’ve juststartedimporting &indexingcompanydirectors &officers,allowing searchby name, &finding linksbetween themand other similarly namedcompanies
    97. New feature: directors/officersWe’ve juststartedimporting &indexingcompanydirectors &officers,allowing searchby name, & other resourcesfinding linksbetween themand other similarly namedcompanies
    98. New feature: shareholdingsFirst stage inmapping outcorporate‘hierarchies’A highlycomplexsubject and onenot wellunderstoodeven by manyregulators
    99. New feature: shareholdingsFirst stage inmapping outcorporate‘hierarchies’A highlycomplexsubject and onenot wellunderstood shareholderseven by manyregulators
    100. tions isdic tes 0 jur nies in 5 26 US sta compa clud ing 5million In wov er 4No

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