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EITI Secretariat International Roundtable Discussion: Beneficial Ownership

EITI Secretariat International Roundtable Discussion: Beneficial Ownership

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

The discussion organized by EITI International, this event aims to engage extractive companies in a conversation about the importance of Beneficial Ownership Transparency (BOT) for companies, the challenges of disclosing beneficial ownership information and how this is handled at global and country levels, the discussion was led by moderator Brenda Jay Angeles Mendoza, served as Asia Country Manager and Emanuel Bria as Asia Country Officer, EITI International Secretariat .

Opening Remark was opened by Thom Townsend as Executive Director, Open Ownership said it was an honor in this event because it was important, to be able to present company representatives in the open extractive program in the next 5 years program from 15 countries in meeting EITI standards, to effectively support information to the corporate community and other stakeholders. We must carry out this process effectively from extractive companies to approach the disclosure of beneficial ownership, from business processes that are safe in using it, by supporting the tools to make disclosurecan be useful so that it can be easily and simply. Think more broadly what are the obstacles and risks faced in contract disclosure, this event was held to provide opinions from extractive companies what benefits they received.

Through the Opening Extractives program , EITI and Open Ownership also collaborate to promote Beneficial Ownership transparency . This program aims to make a dramatic and sustainable difference to the level of publicly available information about the individuals who own and control extractive companies.

Indonesia and the Philippines offer interesting similarities in the regulatory framework for disclosing beneficial ownership information and in the experience of achieving strong participation from extractive companies. However, there are still challenges in terms of the compliance level of companies submitting their BO data to company registers in both countries. In this way companies from both countries can share experiences and learn from each other how to overcome challenges related to disclosure of BO data and how disclosure of this information benefits companies such as creating a level playing field for the company’s operations and investments, helping companies to better conduct due diligence processes. when making procurement or investment decisions, etc.

Sophie Donszelmann, as Senior Program Officer, International Council for Mining and Metals (ICMM) explained several things The BOT issue started from the agenda 10 years ago that was made by the company itself, they have an interest in doing business with who is part of the due diligence , the company has initiated the BOT, the benefit for the company is to get information with whom the company is working with whom to partner to avoid corrupt partnerships, ICMM also provides a report on the gap between countries that have mining and those that do not and can provide social licenses for the extractive sector industrial sector in providing BOT which is in accordance with the law, so that it can be seen by the public

Open Ownership makes technical guidelines for BO data so that it can be used safely, provides technical guidance and tools for BO related data to build a system, the challenge is in BO data is through Joint Venture companies and data standards from beneficial ownership that can be seen and used for companies which can be developed with technical guidance to connect between companies and countries said Stephen Abbott Pugh as Data and Technology Manager, Open Ownership

The responder from Indonesia Muhklis Ishak, as Vice President Tax, Freeport Indonesia explained, PTFI is part of Freeport Mackmoran which is in New York stock and is also owned by MIND at 51%, PTFI pays a sizeable tax to the Indonesian government reaching USD 2 billion for 2021, from 2008 we have published beneficial ownership data which can be viewed on the Website , Freeport Indonesia also participated in various discussions to advance BOT data, related to the challenges and risks PTFI already belongs to the Indonesian government, there is no risk of beneficial ownership because we open all information about the company on the SOE Web site and linked to the site , beneficial ownership information is availableproxy statement , disclosure of this BO information is something that has been mandated by FCX, the topic of ownership benefits in carrying out business practices to carry out  due diligence , we carry out an assessment regarding who will do business with, facilitate for the interests of tax matters and stakeholders, and have compliance from upstream downstream and in obtaining information that accountability requires commitment from business leaders to the importance of disclosing beneficial ownership data

Filipino representative Atty’s response. Joan D. Adaci-Cattilin as Director and President, OceanaGold Philippines is we support transparency to achieve mining goals with a better future, our company is publicly listed, we always need beneficial ownership to see the standards and principles of good mining practice, disclosure information can avoid corrupt practices, we anticipate in the extractive industry and consider in the narrative panel session almost all negative, can lead to money laundering, it is important to have a social license, often in the company there are money laundering and corruption practices, We use BO data to conduct due diligence to all contractors, a company performsdue diligence in our company officials is not a problem, but the most important thing is who is the decision maker in the company, the impact of the company not disclosing the BO needs to be given a penalty , but what if the company has disclosed accurate and accountable data but is misused by users of this data we also have to solve in the future, in the Philippines there is a technical research team for changes to beneficial ownership data and there is a BO registry in the Philippines

In the concluding remarks Director of Country Programs, Open Ownership Karabo Rajuili concluded several important things in this discussion including:

  1. Companies that must pioneer the openness of BOT, there is a commitment from suppliers and partnerships from government and national companies
  2. The importance of a holistic approach , not just disclosure but the need for an approach throughout the supply chain
  3. Not only implementing this information but also testing the beneficial ownership transparency data
  4. The importance of having a social license to practice business
  5. How companies use BO data in compliance and quality issues from BO data

There are obstacles from the registry body