National Action Plan on Open Government Commitment
Work with provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders to improve timely access to beneficial ownership information (FIN/ISED) - Work with provincial and territorial governments and key stakeholders representing various perspectives on possible options to improve timely access to beneficial ownership information, including retention and disclosure obligations relating to such information and the exploration of a public registry option (FIN/ISED)
Department of Finance Canada
1. As per the December 2017 agreement with provinces and territories, initial priority was placed on certain legislative amendments as the first phase of work to improve corporate transparency. The second phase of the work will involve further assessment of potential mechanisms to enhance timely access by competent authorities to beneficial ownership information, e.g. evaluation of potential options for a registry. 2. Over the previous quarter, targeted stakeholder consultations were completed on a proposal to require corporations to provide beneficial ownership records on request to law enforcement and tax authorities where there are reasonable grounds to suspect the information is relevant to an investigation. 3. Officials are continuing the work on this item, including to review and build on feedback received on beneficial ownership transparency issues included in a discussion paper released by the Finance Canada in February 2018 to support a parliamentary review of Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing framework.
Evidence of progress:
1. Finance Canada discussion paper : Reviewing Canada's Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing: https://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/amlatfr-rpcfat-eng.asp; 2. List of responses: https://www.fin.gc.ca/consultresp/amlatfr-rpcfat-eng.asp
Globally, most countries have been challenged to implement effective systems for beneficial ownership transparency. Experience with (public) central registries is early and there is limited evidence on best practices. Work is ongoing in this area, e.g. at the Financial Action Task Force and OECD, which we will continue to monitor.