EITI international, in partnership with the Government of Indonesia and partners, is organising an international beneficial ownership conference in Indonesia on 23-24 October 2017. The conference will be an opportunity to showcase best practices so far, discuss challenges, provide peer-learning and exchange experiences.
In April last year, the Panama Papers scandal broke, with 11.5 million leaked documents, implicating high-level individuals with links to the extractive sector. The challenge became one of turning outrage into change. The Panama Papers point the finger at the use of anonymous shell companies to hide or launder money and conceal potential conflicts of interest. For citizens of resource-rich countries, the risk of losing out on extractive revenues is particularly acute.
The EITI last year agreed to adopt new rules on disclosing beneficial ownership for all extractive companies operating in its 52 member countries. By 2020, companies that apply for, or hold a participating interest in an exploration or production oil, gas or mining license or contract in an EITI country must report the name, nationality, and country of residence of the beneficial owner, as well as identifying any politically-exposed persons (PEPs). This means that countries that produce oil, gas and minerals will know who the owners of the companies that develop their natural resources are, regardless of how many layers there are between these companies and their ultimate beneficial owners.
By 1 January this year, the EITI implementing countries published roadmaps showing the steps that they plan to take to achieve beneficial ownership transparency by 2020. This includes building an institutional and legal framework, putting in place reporting processes and registers hosting the beneficial ownership data. It includes capacity building for government officials enforcing the reporting requirements. It also includes showing how companies can easily disclose their owners and help civil society to use the ownership information.
Chair award for beneficial ownership progress
Leading up to the conference, the EITI Chair Fredrik Reinfeldt is gathering information on beneficial ownership stories from EITI member countries. The contributions will be used in EITIs efforts on disclosing ownership, and will result to award the best performing EITI country in beneficial ownership disclosure More on the competition here.
The conference will be run as a series of parallel workshops, with practical focus on specific topics such as legal and regulatory issues, open access to beneficial ownership information, reporting frameworks etc. There will also be a couple of high-level panels.The preliminary programme in PDF is available in English, French and Spanish on the website.