The Open Company Data Index shows how countries around the world allow company registration information to be publicly accessible. The Index is now being maintained by OpenCorporates, in partnership with the World Bank Institute through its Open and Collaborative Private Sector initiative. OpenCorporates is the largest open database of companies and company data in the world with the primary goal of making information on companies more usable and more widely available for the public benefit.
Scores were assessed on the following basis (with a total of a possible 100 points):
1. Unrestricted online search (no cost, no registration, search feature): 20 points
2. Openly licensed: up to 30 points
3. Free machine-readable data: 20 points
4. Data depth: directors: 10 points
5. Data depth: annual accounts: 10 points
6. Data depth: shareholdings: 10 points
Top scoring countries:
United Kingdom – 90/100
Bulgaria – 90/100
Denmark – 90/100
Norway – 75/100
France – 80/100
Moldova – 80/100
Australia – 70/100
Japan – 70/100
Latvia – 70/100
New Zealand – 70/100
Romania – 70/100
Here is why the index is important:
The world is… now increasingly a corporate one, dominated by highly interconnected, global companies that have exploded in complexity and power and have the ability to have a significant impact on the lives of citizens all around the world. In tandem with this growth, often times citizens’ ability to understand companies and the impact of these companies on their lives has decreased.
In addition, as the World Bank’s “Puppet Masters” report illustrates, the complexity and inaccessibility of information relating to corporate entities is a key enabler of corruption, organized crime and money laundering.
…Accountability is an essential part of improving corporate governance and of increasing the ability of citizens to understand the impact of companies on their lives. But accountability is not possible without data. Recent years have also seen the growth of the open data movement and of the realization that there are significant benefits that come from making data open and accessible. In a data-driven, highly interconnected world it is access to data, and the ability to combine it with other data, that gives real insight and power.