Open Data and Financial Transparency

Open Corporates Financial Visualisation

The Financial Transparency Coalition transparency platform outlines three core issues in need of greater transparency to curb the abuse of the ‘shadow financial system’: Beneficial Ownership, Country by Country Reporting and Automatic Exchange of Financial Information.

Open data can be a powerful tool to secure effective transparency in each of these areas. A wide range of users, from governments and civil society activists, to private sector and individuals, have an interest in the reliable supply of high quality open data on the ultimate ownership of companies, where profits come from, and where the resulting wealth goes. In each of these areas, new data infrastructures are being developed - establishing new reporting regimes for information and new practices for the management of data. Standards play an important role in determining who the resulting data will be accessible to, whose needs it will meet, and how the costs of publishing and using the data will be distributed.

Together with the Open Data Services Coop, Infonomics was commissioned by the Financial Transparency Coalition to explore role of open data standards in supporting delivery of the transparency platform goals. We were asked to:

  • Identify the range of open data standards which could accompany the FTC transparency platform, including ‘gold’ standard options;
  • Identify related data standards already in use by governments, or to be used, in collecting data in FTC transparency platform areas, including comparing those used in developed and developing countries;
  • Recommend appropriate open data standards for the transparency platform that are consistent with technological advances and which are able to be practically implemented worldwide;
  • Assess the political opportunities and challenges to progressing the identified open data standards;
  • Estimate the cost of countries transitioning to systems that can produce relevant standardised (open) data;

strategy open-data research scoping-study