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Based on the key messages in NRGI’s briefing Owning Up, this report recommends seven steps that stakeholders in Myanmar could take to implement the EITI beneficial ownership requirements in a way that increases the potential for concrete improvements in natural resource governance:
Set a strong beneficial ownership definition: Stakeholders in Myanmar should be clear about who is not a beneficial owner of a company, setting a definition with either no threshold for disclosure or a very low threshold, and ensuring politically exposed persons are covered.
Agree on identifying information for beneficial owners: It is essential that there is sufficient accompanying information for the identity of each beneficial owner to be pinpointed, and for the nature of his or her interest in the company to be fully understood (i.e. full name, identifying details, means of control, etc.)
Agree on scope of disclosure in the short and long term: Ensure wide coverage of all relevant companies in the sector will be key.
Establish mechanisms and timeframes for data collection: A clear process and timeframe will ensure companies are clear on when and how they should be reporting.
Find a workable method for confirming information: Companies should be required to attest to the accuracy of information and provide documentation to back this up, tasking data collectors with cross-checking the information against available documentation or performing deeper audits could also help ensure accuracy.
Publish information in an open data format: The beneficial ownership declarations coming out of the EITI process should be fully downloadable and accessible to the public so that anyone looking into the extractives sector or a particular company’s activities can review and use the data easily.
Commit to improving extractive sector governance: The Myanmar government, responsible companies and civil society could multiply the benefits of new beneficial ownership information by combining it with other public resources as they carry out investigations or due diligence.
The briefing reflects recommendations from NRGI and Global Witness and should not be construed as official guidance on beneficial ownership from EITI.