Get involved

All changes to the standard draft, documentation and specification take place via GitHub at

Suggestions for changes can be made via the project issue tracker.

License and contributor agreement

Schema contents of the Open Ownership Register are Copyright 2016 World Wide Web Foundation on behalf of the Open Ownership Register Steering Group.

The schema is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0

Contributors are required to accept the contributor agreement.

Data Standard Working Group Terms of Reference


These are the ‘Bootstrap Terms of Reference’ of the Data Standard Working Group, used between December 2016 and March 2017.

The Beneficial Ownership Data Standard Working Group (DSWG) will drive the initial creation of a free and open data standard for Beneficial Ownership designed to reduce the technical barriers to the collection and re-use of beneficial ownership data, including (but not limited to) by the OpenOwnership Register being created by civil society around the world. OpenOwnership is also creating private sector, public sector and civil society working groups.

This working group will include stakeholders from a range of backgrounds with an interest and expertise in data relating to corporate control or beneficial ownership, and to the use of such data in the public interest. While the development of the standard will take place through an open process, to which anyone can contribute, working group members take on a special responsibility for guiding development of the standard, and ensuring that relevant requirements, user needs and technical considerations are taken into account.

The output will be the first, draft version of the data standard, to be published by March 31, 2017.


All working group members must commit to support the following shared values.


We will:

  • share our views and plans, and share knowledge as widely as possible;
  • solicit and listen to views from end users and stakeholders;
  • make our outputs available under an open licence and abide by the project contributor agreement;


We will:

  • bring our expertise to the discussion as individuals;
  • use our expertise to synthesise the views of others in constructive and forward-thinking proposals;
  • use good judgement to respect privacy and confidentiality.


We will

  • support each other in discussion, in decisions, and in delivery;
  • operate on the basis of consensus decision making;
  • constructively hold each other to account on our commitments;
  • ensure all voices are heard and considered carefully.

Membership, term and role:

Membership of the working group is a voluntary responsibility. Members should be prepared to commit up to 5 hours a month over the period December 2016 to March 2017 to review drafts, join group calls and respond to issues.

Initial group membership will be formed at the invitation of the Co-chairs. Co-chairs are appointed by the Open Ownership Project Steering Group, with their term subject to review at the end of March 2017.

In collaboration with the Open Ownership Project Steering Group the DSWG will develop a revised Terms of Reference, and process for group membership, to be in operation from April 2017 onwards.


  • Chris Taggart, OpenCorporates
  • Tim Davies, Open Data Services Co-operative

Members (as of 20th March 2017)

The following individuals were accepted into the working group, and were part of the decision making process on the design and release of the beta standard.

  • Anders Pedersen - Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Christoffer Claussen - Extractives Industry Trnapsarency Initiative
  • Colin Maudry - Independant consultant
  • Eduard Martín-Borregón - PODER
  • Friedrich Lindenberg - Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
  • Gert Berthold - Precipitate Solutions, LLC
  • James McKinney - Government of Ontario
  • Jay Daley - NZRS Ltd
  • Jonathan Stray - Columbia Journalism School
  • Jonathan Gray - University of Bath
  • Josema Alonso - World Wide Web Foundation
  • Josh Powell - Development Gateway
  • Karim Lourimi - Moore Stephens
  • Kevin Brown - PODER
  • Mara Mendes - Open Knowledge Foundation Germany
  • Michalis Vafopoulos - Software and Knowledge Engineering Laboratory National Center for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS”
  • Mihai Postelnicu - Development Gateway
  • Mikhail Kashkin - Papir
  • Myroslav Opyr - Quinta Group
  • Paul May - Arachnys
  • Seb Bacon - EBM Data Lab, Oxford University
  • Victor Nițu - Open Knowledge International
  • Yasodara Cordova - Berkman Klein Center at Harvard